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DanielleH1977

Retail Fraud Third Degree

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I live in Michigan and I was recently arrested for Retail Fraud in the Third Degree. My arraignment is coming up very soon and I do not have an attorney. I would like to have a court appointed attorney, but I guess my question is will the district court judge ask me if I want to plead guilty, innocent or no contest before he asks me if I would like to have a court appointed attorney. I need the attorney's advice before i make my plea because I would like to ask the prosecutor if I can have a delay of sentence with no initial jail time. I was told to get this I have to plead guilty with a delay of sentence, but I don't know if the prosecutor is willing to do that for me because he won't talk to me about the case at all. Conflict of interest. I am 33 years old and this is my first offense. I don't have any criminal record whatsoever. I don't even have a traffic violation. I am suffering some very hard times right now and the stuff that I took was for my own personal use. I feel horrible about it now and even more so I am concerned that I have embarrased my children and the rest of my family when they find out about this. Help please. I don't know what to do. I'm really not a bad person. I would do anything for anyone and give anyone anything they needed if I had it to give.

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Michigan Retail Fraud 3rd Degree (under $200 stolen) is a misdemeanor. Punishment is up to 93 days in jail and/or $500 fine, or 3 times the merchandise's value.

Here is a link to information about what occurs at an arraignment. As you can see, you will be asked if you have an attorney or need court-appointed counsel.

Good luck.

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Retail fraud 3 in Michigan is a misdemeanor. This charge is for a dollar amount from $99.99 on down

VERY SELDOM will a person convicted of this charge (And it is called retail fraud 3) ever see a jail cell. I know, I arrest people for this offense all the time and have been in court with most of them. No judge will take a mother away from her kids for a retail fraud 3 crime.

If you have a clean record, you didn't fight or resist the security person or the police officer, you will get a fine, probably community service of 40 hours and you are done with it. The bad thing is you will have a conviction on your record which may or may not hurt you in the future with a job search, etc.

You may ask for a deferred sentence which will allow your conviction to be erased if you do not come before the judge in 6 months or a year depending on what agreement you come up with.

To be honest if the retailer seeks a civil remedy proceeding on you, that will cost you more than what the judge will give you.

You to be honest probably do not need a lawyer in this case. But when you appear in court, the judge will call your name, he will ask you how you plead, if you say not guilty, he will ask you if you have a lawyer to represent you. At this time you say no and request one be appointed for you. But this is such a minor offense it probably is not worth it, and that will p*ss off the judge to have to schedule a trial for such a petty offense. I am not saying stealing is petty, but this holds no jail time anyway and depending on the evidence the store has against you (Like a video showing you doing the task) all a lawyer will do is get you no jail time, which you will not get anyway.

This is the lowest level of retail fraud there is in this state. If you had a RF 1 then you would need a lawyer, but a RF 3? Not worth it and since you are not denying you did it, there is nothing to fight here

Thester79 likes this

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I personally recommend an attorney. I am going through the same thing. I thought that if I believed in honesty and accepting responsibility for your mistakes it was a good thing. For a first time mistake (I am 53) and something that was less than 25$ I am paying almost 700 a month for 6 months. Which is 70% of my monthly income. I have no record, not even a traffic ticket and have forced drug tests, (they claim on a rarely needed basis but have had 3 in a month at $30 a pop) and counseling 2 times a month a $150 a pop plus $150 a month in court costs and fines. This has put me into bankruptcy for a one time mistake. I have lost all faith in honesty and accountability. I also don't believe anymore that the courts are here to help but now only here to make as money as they can. I also had to pay $125 for a quiz that was misleading and $20 to register for drug tests that I have passed everytime. The system is broken get a lawyer because honesty is dead.

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