Massachusetts Theft and Shoplifting Crimes Criminal Defense Lawyers

Anyone who knowingly and intentionally carries away merchandise on sale from a store/merchant with intention of taking possession of that merchandise without paying for the merchandise will be found guilty of shoplifting by asportation.

In order to prove the defendant is guilty of shoplifting by asportation, the prosecution must prove three things beyond a reasonable doubt:

  • That the defendant intentionally took possession of, or concealed merchandise from a retail merchant;
  • The defendant did not own the merchandise; and
  • The defendant took possession of, or concealed the merchandise with the intention of taking the merchandise without paying.

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Shoplifting Charged As A Larceny Crime

Although the larceny statutes do not govern shoplifting crimes, a prosecutor has the choice to bring a shoplifter up on larceny charges instead of shoplifting charges. A conviction for larceny under $1,200 or over $1,200 carries stiffer penalties than a conviction for shoplifting. However, if the total value of the goods is under $100 then the shoplifting laws and penalties will apply instead of the larceny laws and penalties.

Clerk Magistrates Hearing

Shoplifting is a misdemeanor crime.  As a practical matter, police in Massachusetts have limited powers to arrest someone for a misdemeanor crime that was not committed in their presence. Generally speaking, a police officer can only arrest someone for shoplifting if he has probable cause to believe the person has committed the offense of shoplifting.

If an employee or business owner shows the police officer video footage from surveillance cameras that shows someone shoplifting, then the officer has probable cause to arrest that individual. However, police officers and surveillance cameras can not witness every crime. In these situations the police will not arrest the individual but instead will apply for a complaint at the local district. The person accused in the complaint of shoplifting will receive a notice to appear for a clerk magistrates hearing or “show cause” hearing. To read more about our clerks hearing defense visit our page on clerk hearings.

Free Consultation With An Experienced SE Massachusetts Shoplifting Defense Attorney

Shoplifting charges shouldn’t be taken lightly. Retail stores in Massachusetts seek to prosecute shoplifters to the fullest extent of the law. Shoplifting also falls with the list of deportable offense for those individuals that aren’t citizens of the United States. Our criminal defense attorneys have the experience to defend you against an array of shoplifting crimes including:

If you have been charged with shoplifting, you need an attorney at your side who knows the ins and outs of Massachusetts’ complicated larceny laws. If you are a first-time offender, the legal experts at The Law Offices of Gerald J. Noonan may be able to have the charges dismissed entirely and erased from your permanent record, usually in exchange for a fine and a period of probation. More serious, or repeat, charges of shoplifting may be negotiable with the district attorney, as it is very rare that shoplifting cases are brought all the way to a judge or jury.

Serving the residents of Plymouth County including Brockton, Abington, Bridgewater, Whitman, Hanson, Hingham, Wareham, Halifax, Middleborough, Rockland, Lakeville, Holbrook, Avon, Kingston, Pembroke, Plympton, Pembroke, Hanover, Carver, Duxbury, Marshfield, Norwell, Hanover, Scituate, East/West Bridgewater, Rochester, Marion, Mattapoisett; Norfolk County including Quincy, Stoughton, Dedham, Weymouth, Braintree, Avon, Holbrook, Randolph, Canton, Sharon, Wrentham, Foxborough, Franklin, Walpole; Bristol County including New Bedford, Fall River, Taunton, Attleboro, Mansfield, Easton, Raynham, Norton; Cape Cod, Falmouth, Barnstable

No matter where you are located, we are just a phone call away. Call Massachusetts Shoplifting by Asportation Criminal Defense Attorneys at The Law Offices of Gerald J. Noonan to schedule a free no-obligation case review and consultation at (508) 588-0422 and you will have taken your first step to find out how best to confront this important matter. You can also click here to use our Free Case Evaluation Form.