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Who gets arrested for shoplifting in Michigan?

We usually use this blog to discuss serious felonies like white collar crime, violent crime and sex crimes. Of course, a misdemeanor charge should be taken seriously as well. After all, a misdemeanor conviction can mean up to a year in jail and a steep fine.

MLive.com recently published an interesting article about shoplifting in Michigan. In 2014, 8.3 percent of all people arrested in the state, or 21,688 people, faced shoplifting or retail fraud charges -- a big number, to say the least.

Breaking down data from the National Retail Federation, most people arrested on suspicion of shoplifting in Michigan are women. An African American woman is three times more likely to be arrested on this charge, though white women made up 33 percent of all arrests, the highest demographic share. Similarly, African American men were 3.5 times as likely to be subject to arrest for shoplifting as white men.

Michigan law grades shoplifting charges by the value of the allegedly stolen times. A third-degree shoplifting charge, by far the most common, involves items valued less than $200. For a second-degree charge, the items must be worth between $200 and $1,000.

These are misdemeanor charges; first-degree shoplifting is a felony carrying a potential sentence of five years in prison and/or a fine of $2,000 or triple the value of the goods, whichever is greater. To charge someone with first-degree shoplifting, the prosecution must show the allegedly stolen goods were worth more than $1,000.

If you are ever arrested for shoplifting, time is of the essence. It is vital that you get in touch with a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to help you guard your legal rights.

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