It has been the subject of national news in the last few years that Michigan, and Detroit in particular, has faced many financial challenges in the wake of the recession. Countless individuals have been left unemployed. Foreclosures left homes empty — and people homeless. The city’s population dropped, and the city itself was forced to declare bankruptcy.
In tough times like these, it’s not unusual for people to turn to crime in an effort to try and make ends meet. At MUSSIN & SCANLAND, PLLC, we understand many people charged with a theft crime in Detroit are good people who had a momentary lapse in judgment or made a mistake in a moment of stress. It is not unusual for someone charged with shoplifting, for example, to have had no intention to steal anything at all — but while tired from working multiple part-time jobs, or experiencing the stress of unemployment, may simply have forgotten to pay for an item.
A theft conviction can put someone who may already be in a bad spot, into an even worse one. Depending on the nature of the alleged theft crime, a conviction can have serious long-term effects on your life. The possible consequences may include:
- A jail or prison sentence;
- Expensive fines and court costs
- A permanent criminal record
- Trouble finding a job or a place to live because of your criminal history
- Loss or denial of a license to work in your profession, such as teaching, nursing, pharmacy, law, medicine, or another licensed profession
- Loss or denial of your immigration visa or green card, denial of your citizenship application, or deportation to your home country if you’re not an American citizen
However, when you or a family member is charged with a Michigan theft offense, there may be actions you can take to try to avoid a conviction or to get your charge or penalties reduced. A qualified lawyer can help you fight the charge, or make a case to a prosecutor or judge that circumstances exist that support leniency.