What kind of charge should my son and daughter get for theft? 6 Answers as of June 03, 2011

My son's girlfriend took money that was left in a store's self-checkout machine. They were both viewed on camera. They said the money just came out when she pushed the button for a transaction for her bridge card. Now police are saying they are going to charge them both with a felony burglary? That doesn't sound right...60% of the population would have picked up that money, which doesn't make it right. What kind of charges can he get?

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Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law
Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law | Thomas J. Tomko
There are theft charges which could be associated with the facts you describe. However, you should wait until the actual charges are made. Then, based on the explanation and review of the evidence, an informed review can determine what risk there is if the case should proceed to trial. At this point, there should be no statements given, and no interviews consented to with the police or any investigator. Any attempt at an explanation may result in statements which are used against them at trial. You should consider hiring an attorney to go over the details of the case and to advise them on what exactly to do.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 6/3/2011
Craig W. Elhart, P.C.
Craig W. Elhart, P.C. | Craig Elhart
The ultimate decision on what to charge someone with is left with the prosecuting attorney. There seems to be a discrepancy in this story. First it says money was left in the store's self checkout machine. Then it says the money just came out during the transaction. It would seem that a likely charge could be larceny in a building if there are facts to support it. There are probably other charges involving a financial transaction devise too. To try and second guess what the prosecutor may do is almost impossible.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 6/3/2011
Austin Legal Services, PLC
Austin Legal Services, PLC | Jared Austin
What is your source for your "60%" figure? Even if that is correct, then 60% would still be guilty of a crime. They took money that didn't rightfully belong to them and they did it intentionally. That is a crime. It sounds like they have good evidence against them too. You need to consult with an experienced criminal attorney before pleading to anything or agreeing to plead to anything. They may be eligible for a diversion program that could keep it off their record. Depending on what their priors are (if any), at worst they would probably be looking at probation or community service. Consult with a lawyer as soon as possible.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 6/2/2011
Jules N. Fiani, Attorney at Law
Jules N. Fiani, Attorney at Law | Jules Fiani
You should ask these questions to your lawyer and if he/she cannot answer it for you then you need to find a new attorney.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 6/2/2011
Klisz Law Office, PLLC
Klisz Law Office, PLLC | Timothy J. Klisz
You will certainly find out once they are charged. I doubt it would be a felony. Likely retail fraud. I can help them if charged.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 6/2/2011
    Charles Regan Shaw, PLC
    Charles Regan Shaw, PLC | Charles R Shaw
    This does amount to a crime but your child still has a chance to keep her or his record clean.. Contact our office.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/2/2011
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