Many clients of mine are stopped at the self-checkout, and never think they will be caught. They pay for some items, and not for others. This is in contrast to the person who simply conceals items in the store on their person or in bags and tries to walk out without paying for anything.
Michigan Retail Fraud requires the prosecution to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that:
- the defendant took some property that the store offered for sale,
- the defendant moved the property (Any movement is enough. It does not matter whether the defendant actually got the property past the cashier or out of the store)
- the defendant intended to steal the property. Intended to steal means that the defendant intended to permanently take the property from the store without the store's consent.
- this happened either inside the store or in the immediate area around the store, while the store was open to the public.
- the value of the property
If the value of the property is below $200, it is Michigan Retail Fraud in Third Degree, which is a 93 day misdemeanor.
If the value of the property is between $200-$1,000, it is Michigan Retail Fraud in Second Degree, which is a one year misdemeanor