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Larceny and Theft
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Hampshire Larceny & Theft Lawyer
Defending the Accused Throughout Franklin, Hampden, & Berkshire Counties
If you are facing larceny or theft charges, reach out to an experienced defense attorney for legal representation immediately. A good lawyer can make the difference between maximum penalties and minimum, or even reduced, sentencing. Attorney Jesse Adams has been defending the accused for 15 years, and he has only ever represented defendants. As a result, you can trust that he is on your side as a defendant; throughout his years of practice, he has stayed committed to the defense of charged individuals, so he knows how to skillfully navigate the criminal justice system in the best interests of the accused.
Schedule a free consultation with Jesse Adams Law Firm LLC to discuss your larceny or theft charges in more detail.
What Is a Crime of Larceny?
In Massachusetts, larceny is a broad criminal category that includes offenses like theft and embezzlement. Larceny is defined as the unlawful taking of another person’s property and doing so with the specific intent to permanently deprive them of that property.
Examples of larceny might be:
- Fraudulently obtaining another person’s property
- Stealing someone’s property
- Unlawfully converting another person’s property with the intent to steal (embezzlement)
Stolen property in larceny cases includes any item of personal property, as well as things like land, tangible or intangible data, and digital communication services.
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Penalties & Sentencing for Larceny
Larceny offenses in Massachusetts are penalized based on the value of the property allegedly stolen and the type of property. In some cases, the court may also evaluate any special characteristics of the alleged victim, such as if they were an elderly person.
The penalty range includes:
- Stolen property worth $1,200 or less: Misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail or $1,500 in fines
- Stolen property worth more than $1,200: Felony punishable by up to five years in prison or $25,000 in fines with two years in jail
- Theft of a firearm: Up to five years in state prison or $25,000 in fines and two years in jail
- Theft of a motor vehicle: 15 years in prison or 2.5 years in jail and/or $15,000 in fines
- Theft involving an alleged victim with a disability or above the age of 60: Up to 2.5 years in jail and $1,000 in fines for stolen property worth $250 or less; or up to 10 years in state prison or 2.5 years in jail and a $50,000 fine for stolen property worth more than $250
If the defendant is a first-time larceny offender and the offense is simple larceny (not amounting to a significant amount of money), they may be able to pay full restitution to the alleged victim in order to receive a jail sentence instead of a prison sentence.
On the other hand, defendants with prior convictions for larceny (repeat offenders) may face enhanced penalties. For instance, an offender who has been convicted of a second larceny offense or who is facing three simultaneous larceny charges may be criminally labeled as a “common and notorious thief” and will face up to 20 years in prison or 2.5 years in jail.
Shoplifting Crimes in Massachusetts
Shoplifting is a type of theft that carries other criminal and civil penalties in Massachusetts. A person is guilty of shoplifting if they steal merchandise from a store or otherwise deprive the merchandise of its full retail value.
For example, the following activities constitute shoplifting:
- Taking or concealing a shop’s merchandise
- Altering, transferring, or removing the price tags of the merchandise
- Recording a lower sale price than the original
Like with all crimes of larceny and theft, the penalties for shoplifting will depend on the value of the allegedly stolen merchandise:
- Less than $250: Up to $250 in fines for a first offense, $100-$500 in fines for a second offense, and $5,000 in fines and 2.5 years in jail for a third offense
- $250 or more: 2.5 years in jail and $1,000 in fines
It is also a criminal offense of shoplifting to possess, make, or sell theft detection shielding devices, and doing so is punishable by up to 2.5 years in jail, five years in prison, and/or $25,000 in fines. Making counterfeit receipts to defraud a seller is also a crime punishable by up to 2.5 years in jail, up to five years in prison, and/or $10,000 in fines.
In addition to the criminal penalties, defendants convicted of shoplifting will also be liable for civil penalties, which may include paying the merchant $50-$500 in damages (depending on the retail value of the allegedly stolen merchandise) and other damages the store owner may have experienced.
Reach out to Jesse Adams Law Firm LLC immediately if you are facing theft or larceny allegations. Attorney Jesse Adams provides skilled and aggressive representation that aims to persuade and defend. He will do his best to craft a defense strategy that achieves your goals as a defendant, so rest assured that your case will be in good hands when you enlist the help of Jesse Adams Law Firm LLC.
Schedule a free consultation today to get started.