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Theft, also called larceny, is a serious crime that the state of Michigan prosecutes aggressively. The charges result from accusations you took someone else’s property or attempted to take another person’s or business’ property.

The penalties can vary significantly depending on the value, and a conviction for theft could mean jail time, paying steep fines, and a permanent criminal record. You need a reliable criminal defense attorney to help with your case. Schedule a meeting with a Manistique theft lawyer if you face arrest or conviction.

Larceny Penalties Depending on the Property Value

Michigan law divides larceny convictions and penalties into two primary categories: misdemeanor and felony theft. According to the Michigan Penal Code § 750.356, a person who steals or attempts to steal money, property, or goods from another party is guilty of larceny. Penalties will depend on the type of criminal conviction the case falls within.

Misdemeanor Theft

A conviction resulting from property valued less than $200 will see someone face up to 93 days in jail and a $500 fine. If someone stole goods worth between $200 and $1,000, they face up to one year in jail, and criminal and civil fines up to $2,000 or three times the value of stolen goods.

Felony Larceny

Property valued $1,000 to $20,000 that has been stolen has a maximum penalty of up to five years in prison and fines up to $15,000 or three times the value of the goods. If the theft was $20,000 or more, a person could be sentenced to up to 10 years in prison and a $15,000 fine – or three times the value of the stolen items.

An individual also faces a felony conviction after arrest for misdemeanor theft with one or more prior convictions.

Under the statute, a person with one or more larceny convictions is a habitual offender and faces additional fines and penalties. A theft lawyer in Manistique could answer specific questions on potential outcomes after a review of the case.

Penalties for Retail Theft

A person who steals or conceals retail merchandise, not intending to pay for it, can be charged with retail fraud. The law also considers switching labels or containers to pay lower purchase prices or attempting to return stolen property as retail fraud. Criminal penalties fall within three primary categories.

Third-Degree

An arrest for stealing retail goods valued at $200 or less is a misdemeanor offense. A conviction could mean spending up to 93 days in jail and paying $500 in fines.

Second-Degree

A second-degree retail fraud conviction can result from property valued from $200 to $1,000 and is also a misdemeanor offense. A sentence means spending up to one year in jail and $2,000 in fines.

First-Degree

A first-degree retail theft conviction is the most severe and can result from an arrest for stealing or attempting to steal items valued at $1,000 or more. A felony conviction for retail fraud can mean spending up to five years in prison and paying up to $10,000 in fines. A Manistique theft attorney could investigate the alleged incident and determine if the charges are overreaching.

Schedule a Meeting with a Qualified Theft Attorney in Manistique

Any conviction for theft will have severe consequences on your life and future. Thus, it is usually not a good idea to handle the case alone without the help of a skilled Manistique theft lawyer.

Berger Law could fight for your rights and freedoms, and advocate on your behalf. If you face a theft conviction in Manistique, call us now to schedule a consultation.