Flint, MI Theft & Property Crimes Attorney
Not long ago, the city of Flint, MI, was a dangerous place to own anything valuable, with property crime rates in 2010 nearly three times as high as the U.S. average. But thanks to tremendous police work, recent years have seen significantly fewer crimes and police are working hard to maintain this encouraging trend.
However, in the process of taking a hard stance against crime and working to proactively protect Flint's citizens, sometimes the police, judges, and juries take things too far – making hasty arrests, issuing overly harsh sentences, and being quick to judge based on appearances and bias instead of on evidence.
That's why, if you've been accused of any type of property crime, including burglary, robbery, auto theft, grand larceny, petty larceny, embezzlement, or even check forgery, you need an aggressive and experienced theft and property crimes attorney such as those at Grabel & Associates.
At Grabel & Associates, we firmly believe in the concept of innocent until proven guilty, and we'll do everything within our power to dig up every piece of evidence that can be used in your defense. We won't stop until we clear your good name, we want you to know you still have rights and we'll stand for those rights in the courtroom and make sure you're treated fairly and with due process.
I've Been Accused Of A Property Crime – What Happens Next?
If you've been arrested and accused of any kind of theft or property crime, don't panic. Despite what the police may tell you, your case if far from open and shut. Instead, exercise your right to stay silent and politely decline to say anything about your case – good or bad – until an attorney arrives. Next, call Grabel & Associates and explain your situation. With over 100 years of combined experience among our attorneys, we've seen almost everything and can tell you what your best options are and counsel you through every statement you make to the police and the prosecuting attorney.
Once you've been booked and processed at the police station, your case will take one of two turns. If you committed a misdemeanor offense, such as shoplifting, petty theft, or vandalism, your case will be heard in the 67th District Court on Saginaw Street here in Flint. You will be taken here within 24 hours for arraignment (a formal pronouncement of charges and your “guilty” or “not guilty” plea) and then usually released on bail until your trial.
If you were accused of a felony, such as armed robbery, burglary, or auto theft, you will be arraigned at the District Court, but your trial will be heard at the 7th Circuit Court down the road.
Whichever route your case takes, the process will be very much the same. You will appear before a jury of your peers and face the accusations of an experienced and zealous prosecuting attorney. But with the right lawyer by your side, you can fight to unsure the best possible outcome for your specific case and circumstances.
What Are Theft & Property Crimes?
Theft and property crimes encompass much more than stealing a purse or breaking into a home, and our attorney have experience with all types of property crimes, including:
- Auto theft, UDAA
- Armed robbery
- Credit card theft
- Check forgery
- Federal charges
- Identify theft
- Retail fraud/shoplifting
- Unarmed robbery
- Home invasion
- Larceny from a building
If you've been accused of any of these or others that are not on this list, it’s imperative that you call an experienced attorney immediately. Grabel & Associates is available 24/7, so if you've been arrested, call us at 1-800-342-7896 to discuss your situation.
What Are The Penalties For Theft and Property Crimes?
As you can see from the partial list of property crimes above, there are many ways to break the law in regard to personal property and just as many penalties. The punishments for a first offense for some common crimes are below. For more details on your specific situation, call Grabel & Associates at 1-800-342-7896.
Retail fraud – also known as shoplifting – involves theft of goods from a retail store. This kind of crime may be a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the value of the goods stolen. Note that for the purposes of retail fraud the term “stolen” encompasses changing the price on an item before purchasing it or attempting to return an item you did not buy.
Third degree retail fraud involves the theft of less than $200 worth of goods and is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 93 days in jail and/or a fine of $500 or three times the worth of the stolen goods.
Second degree retail fraud involves the theft of at least $200 but less than $1,000 worth of goods, and is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 1 year in jail and/or a fine of $2,000 or three times the worth of the goods, whichever is greater.
First-degree retail fraud is a felony and involves the theft of over $1,000 worth of goods. This crime carries a much harsher penalty than lower forms of retail fraud, with up to 5 years in prison and/or a $10,000 fine or three times the value of the stolen goods possible.
Petty theft is another name for misdemeanor theft, which involves less than $1,000 worth of stolen goods. The penalties are the same as for third and second degree retail fraud, but the items stolen do not have to be taken from a retail store. Stealing from an individual or non-retail company will earn you a charge of petty theft.
Grand theft is another name for felony theft, which involves stolen goods worth $1000 or more. The penalties are the same as for first degree retail fraud, but like petty theft, involve taking goods from an individual or non-retail company instead of from a retail store.
Burglary occurs when someone breaks into a building with the intent to commit a felony. The intended crime is often theft, but can be anything that carries a prison sentence. The penalty for burglary itself (independent of the penalties for any other felonies actually committed after breaking and entering) is up to 10 years in prison.
A home invasion involves the same elements as burglary, but occurs when building broken into is a personal dwelling. The penalty for home invasion is 5-20 years in prison and may also incur a $2,000 to $5,000 fine.
Robbery occurs when someone steals directly from another person by means of force or threat of force. Unarmed robbery incurs a prison sentence of up to 15 years, while armed robbery can land the offender in prison for life. Note that a person does not have to actually be armed to commit armed robbery. It is enough that he led the person to believe he was armed.
There are numerous types of auto theft, including larceny, joyriding, and carjacking.
Larceny involves the simple theft of a car and is a felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison for a vehicle worth less than $20,000 or up to 10 years for a car worth more than $20,000.
Joyriding involves taking a car without the owner's permission (or beyond the scope of such permission) with the intention of returning it to the owner later. This type of crime can be a misdemeanor (if the owner gave limited initial permission) or a felony (if the owner gave no permission). Similar crimes with which a person may be charged include unlawfully driving away in an automobile and unlawful use of a motor vehicle.
Call Grabel & Associates For All Theft & Property Crime Charges
As you can see, if you've been accused of any type of theft or property crime, the stakes are high. Don't risk your future by hiring anyone who is not going to provide the most aggressive, dedicated representation possible or who has little experience representing crimes in Flint. At Grabel & Associates, we have over 100 years of combined experience and can provide a stalwart defense before the district or circuit courts in Flint. Call us today to discuss your situation at 1-800-342-7896 or contact us online for a free consultation.