Larceny from a Person
Larceny from a person is a specific and independent crime in Massachusetts. It is a felony and is considered more serious to steal from the body, or ‘person,’ of someone due to the likelihood of force or violence being used. Prosecutors will also treat these cases more seriously.
M.G.L. ch. 266, sec 25(b) provides:
“Whoever commits larceny by stealing from the person of another shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for not more than five years or in jail for not more than two and one-half years.”
The statute is straightforward and supplies four elements that a prosecutor needs to prove beyond a reasonable doubt:
- The defendant took or carried away property they did not own,
- from the person of an individual, or from the area of control in their presence,
- That individual owned or possessed the property,
- And that the defendant did so with the intent of permanently depriving the owner of their property.
It is important to note that unlike other larceny offenses, there is no value requirement for the property. Regardless if the property is more or less than $250 the offense is still a felony.
Victim 65 or older: Section 25(a) makes larceny from a person 65 or older an aggravating offense, with the same maximum penalty of up to 5 years in state prison, or up to 2 ½ years in jail. Even though the maximum punishment is the same, committing a larceny on a person 65 or older is considered more serious.
Subsequent offenses: Committing another larceny from a person, after already having a conviction for this offense has an increased maximum punishment of a mandatory minimum sentence of 2 years in jail.
With the stakes so high, it is very important to have a good attorney work on your larceny from a person case. There are various defenses to larceny from a person and our attorneys can identify instances where a faulty or unduly suggestive identification was performed, whether evidence was seized illegally, or if the allegations lack probable cause. Our attorneys can also use their years of experience to negotiate the charges down to less serious offenses, like Larceny over or under $250.
If you are facing a charge of larceny from a person, call us today at (617) 723-4163 for a free case evaluation.