Theft & Property Crimes

Theft offenses in Michigan come in all shapes and sizes, but one thing is certain – the consequences are serious. Unlike other criminal charges, accusations of theft can often be reasonably explained through misunderstandings, miscommunications, or simply the lack of intent to steal something. Michigan law affords people accused of theft crimes with several statutory defenses, and you need an experienced attorney like me who can identify and apply these defenses to help you achieve the best outcome to your theft case.

It is easy to overlook how serious the consequences of a theft conviction can be, given the sometimes harmless nature of the act (e.g. borrowing a car or forgetting to ring something up at a store). However, depending on the circumstances, a theft charge can become a felony or misdemeanor conviction, which may result in the following:

  • A jail or prison sentence
  • Hundreds or thousands in fines
  • A permanent criminal record
  • Risk of losing your job
  • Risk of losing professional license (e.g. lawyer, doctor, teacher)

Whether it is a one-time mistake or a genuine misunderstanding, we will aggressively defend the theft charges brought against you and seek dismissal or at the very least, a reduction in charges. The sooner you contact me, the sooner we can build a winning strategy to defend against your theft charges and get the possible outcome for your case.

Theft Offenses

  • LARENCYThe easiest way to define Larceny is the stealing of someone’s property. Property can be in the form of money, goods, possessions, etc. Larceny can be a felony or misdemeanor, depending on the amount stolen. It is important to understand the varying degrees of punishment and the defenses that may be used to the fight the charges against you.
  • RETAIL FRAUD/SHOPLIFTINGIf you steal or otherwise intend to defraud a store, you may be charged with retail fraud. Michigan has first, second, and third-degree charges, depending on the value of the property allegedly stolen. First-degree is a felony, whereas second and third degree are misdemeanors. Learn more how ZAYID LAW defends against retail fraud charges.
  • IDENTITY THEFTIdentity theft is the act of using someone’s identity or personal information to obtain goods, services, money or property. There are several statutory defenses that may mitigate or even dismiss the charges, and ZAYID LAW utilizes these defenses to fight identity theft charges.

Crimes Involving a Vehicle

  • CAR THEFT Simply put, the “taking possession of and driving away a motor vehicle.” If you take a car that does not belong to you and drive it away without permission, you may be charged with a felony punishable up to five years in prison. Learn more how ZAID LAW helps defendants defend against auto theft charges
  • CARJACKING Carjacking includes the same elements as Auto Theft, that is, the taking of a vehicle without permission, but it includes the victim(s) in the vehicle at the time of the theft. Michigan considers even the “threat of force” against the vehicle’s occupants to be sufficient for a carjacking charge. This is a capital offense, meaning it is a felony that is punishable up to life in prison.
  • JOYRIDING Joyriding is similar to Auto Theft in that it is defined by the taking of a vehicle without permission. However, the distinguishing factor is intent – that is, with joyriding, there is no intent to permanently steal the vehicle. Joyriding is a high court misdemeanor that is punishable by up to two years in prison.

Home Invasion

  • Home Invasion is defined as a person who “breaks and enters a dwelling” without permission. Michigan has first, second and third degree charges, though all of the degrees are felonies. The difference between home invasion and larceny is the breaking and entering of a home, which elevates the seriousness of the offense and the harshness of the penalties. It is critical to hire experienced counsel like ZAYID LAW to defend against your home invasion charges.


  • UNARMED Robbery is defined as the theft of money or other property through the use of force or violence. Unarmed robbery is obviously less serious than armed robbery, though it still is a felony punishable up to 15 years in prison.
  • ARMED Armed robbery includes the same elements as unarmed robbery except that in the course of committing the robbery that person possesses a “dangerous weapon.” This is an extremely serious felony offense that is punishable up to life in prison.If you are charged with armed robbery, you should call ZAYID LAW immediately to preserve your rights and defend your case.

Receiving and concealing stolen property

  • Michigan law punishes the act of buying or receiving stolen property, even if you were not technically the one who stole it. The key consideration is whether you knew the property you purchased or accepted was stolen. If the property is worth more than $1,000, it’s a felony. ZAYID LAW has experience highlighting the mitigating factors that will aid in dismissing or reducing charges brought against you.

Hire ZAYID LAW For Your Theft Charge

Theft cases are very tricky because they depend heavily on the unique circumstances of each case. This is where I come in to play. I know the key factual considerations that can build the winning defense strategy and achieve the best possible outcome for your case. As I will describe in this section, the number one consideration is intent: did you intend to permanently steal the property, the good, or did you have permission, consent or authority? I understand how to call into question the intent aspect of the charges to diminish the case against you. The sooner you call me and ZAYID LAW, the sooner we can get started defending your case and preserving your rights.

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