Theft, also known as larceny, is a common crime in Michigan, and the penalties are often harsh. Generally speaking, the penalties imposed on an individual for a larceny conviction are dependent upon the value of the items stolen. However, there are other circumstances that could lead to enhanced penalties.
Perhaps the most common of these circumstances is a second or subsequent offense. Those who have already been convicted of larceny will face more severe penalties if they are convicted a second or subsequent time. For example, regardless of the value of the items stolen, an individual convicted of his or her third larceny offense can be sentenced to prison for up to 10 years, and be fined up to $15,000, or three times the value of the property stolen, whichever is greater.
This means that those who are facing another criminal charge after already being convicted have a lot on the line. Their criminal history may be used against them by aggressive prosecutors looking to score another win. However, there may be strong criminal defense options available to those facing theft charges.
One defense option is to challenge which part of the law the alleged offense falls under. For example, in the example discussed above, those penalties can only be sought if the individual’s prior convictions meet a certain level of severity. Another defense option, of course, is to fight the allegations that one actually committed the crime. Whether a criminal defendant is seeking an acquittal, or a negotiated settlement whereby they avoid the harshest penalties, having a legal advocate on one’s side may prove beneficial.
Source: Michigan Legislature, “Section 750.356,” accessed on Dec. 16, 2016