Massachusetts Larceny & Shoplifting Attorney
A person commits a theft, or “larceny” as it is termed in Massachusetts, when he or she takes the property of someone else without their consent, and with the intent of depriving that person of their property indefinitely. Larceny encompasses a broad spectrum of potential criminal charges, and the specific facts of your case will determine what crime you may be charged with.
In terms of general larceny, the value of what was stolen will determine if the crime was a misdemeanor or a felony. Massachusetts makes this determination by statute (M.G.L. Chapter 266, Section 30). If the value of the stolen property was less than $250 that only qualifies as misdemeanor. However, if the total value of the stolen property is $250 or more you can be charged with a felony.
Some common theft offenses include:
- Larceny Under $250
- Larceny Over $250
- Larceny by Scheme
- Larceny by Check
- Larceny from a Person
- Unarmed Robbery
- Armed Robbery
The more minor, misdemeanor offenses like shoplifting and Larceny under $250 can usually be resolved in a way to avoid a permanent criminal record (depending on your prior criminal history). In these cases, more minor offenses can be dismissed outright with the payment of a fine, or you may be eligible for a continuation without a finding (a period of probation followed by a dismissal).
Subsequent misdemeanors, or felony charges can result in extended probation terms and even jail sentences. All theft crimes should be taken seriously, though. Having entries on your criminal record can have far reaching impacts on employment and education opportunities, and potentially have serious immigration consequences. At Equitas Law, LLP we have handled hundreds of these cases, and can appropriately handle your case for the best result.
Criminal Defense FAQ
As a criminal defense lawyer, the fact that you clicked this accordion drives me crazy!
NO, you shouldn't! At least not without a lawyer after careful consideration.
Think about it. The police have a job, which is to solve crimes and bring criminal charges. The only reason for them to call you is because they are looking for evidence and there is no better evidence than your statement. Very often, they are calling you because they don't have enough evidence to charge you yet and they're looking to make their case with your statements.
They are not your friends. They are not trying to help you. There is nothing to "clear up". They will not go away if you just admit it and take responsibility.
Seriously, don't speak to the police without consulting a criminal defense lawyer first. It may be that we ultimately decide to give a statement, but only if it will help your case and after careful consideration!
First, unless you have committed a very serious crime, the chances of you going to jail are minimal (especially if you hire a good attorney). In any event, this is not something that typically would happen until many months down the road.
We're not going to lie to you, if the prosecution can meet the burden of proof on your case, there will be consequences, ranging from a slap on the wrist to jail time. Our job is to minimize the consequences and to eliminate them, if possible.
Of course, this depends on the charges, your criminal history and many other factors, so please feel free to reach out and we can give you a more specific answer.
No, no, no, no no! Even if you decide to eventually take responsibility, your lawyer should negotiate the best deal possible. What this means depends entirely the circumstances of your criminal charge, but very often you can take responsibility and still avoid a permanent criminal record. It may also involve:
- Pre-Trial Probation or Pre-Trial Diversion
- An outright Dismissal of your charges upon payment of court costs
- A Continuation Without a Finding, including the length and terms of your probation (after which the case is dismissed)
- A period of straight probation without a jail or state prison sentence
- A suspended sentence, where a sentence is imposed, but not served unless probation is violated
- A lesser sentence to jail or prison and less severe conditions upon release
This is to say nothing of the fact that your case may be winnable on a motion to dismiss or at trial!
In many cases, yes. Some cases have issues that may justify a Motion to Suppress or a Motion to Dismiss for lack of evidence.
Others can and should be taken to trial, or call for a plea as soon as possible so the client can move on with their life.
The decision on what to do really depends on the facts of the case and your individual goals.
This is why it is important to speak to an experienced Massachusetts criminal attorney who can quickly evaluate your specific case to see if there are any issues worth pursuing.
It is very possible that you can avoid a criminal record, especially if you don't have a significant criminal history and and it is a relatively minor offense.
The answer to this question is very case-specific, depending on the facts of your case and what we decide to do with it.
A vast majority of our criminal cases cases are handled on a flat fee basis, ranging from a clerk-magistrate's hearing to superior court or federal court cases.
All we can tell you is that we are always up front and honest, and will treat you fairly. We're also willing to work with you on payments if we can, as this is not all about the money.
Of course, it is prefereable to have an attorney at the arraignment, but don't panic! First, you can call or text me at any time and I may be able to be there. If not, take a look at this link for all the information you need: