A good larceny defense lawyer will contest the value of the goods allegedly stolen. Often times the prosecution will try to find a way to stretch the value of the goods stolen in an attempt to increase a larceny under $250 charge into a larceny over $250 charge. A larceny over $250 charge can be reduced to a larceny under $250 charge if your lawyer can show the police miscalculated the value of the goods, or owner of the stolen goods misstated or lied about the actual value of the goods. However, in order to protect your rights you need an attorney that knows to lookout for these issues.
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 if shoplifting by switching price tag.
In order to prove the defendant guilty of shoplifting by switching price tag, the prosecution must prove three things beyond a reasonable doubt …
Shoplifting is a misdemeanor crime. As a practical matter, Police in Massachusetts have limited powers to arrest someone for a misdemeanor crime that wasn’t 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 wont 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.
In Massachusetts law, grand larceny is one of the two types of larceny by stealing in which the value of the goods, money or property stolen exceeds $250. As its adjective implies, “grand” larceny is a serious felony, punishable by up to five years in state prison and a $25,000 fine. (By contrast, petty larceny, which involves thefts of less than $250, counts as a misdemeanor rather than a felony.)
Larceny is a legal term for “stealing” and is one of the most common crimes committed in Massachusetts, as well as in every other state. Crimes of larceny by stealing involve the theft or taking of property. In most cases involving property theft, the accused will be charged with some form of larceny. Under the law, the term “property” is very broad and applies to chattel (movable items and personal property such as furniture, paintings, household items — possessions of value), as well as to pets, and even computer data. “Property” also includes money, checks, bonds, and promissory notes.
In Massachusetts law, “larceny of a stolen vehicle” refers to much more than the simple act of stealing a car. The charge of larceny of a stolen vehicle can be leveled against an individual caught hot-wiring a car, but also against anyone who buys, receives, conceals or is simply found in possession of a car that he/she should “reasonably” have known had been stolen. This last legal clause can be difficult to prove, so district attorneys pay special attention when the car’s identifying numbers, including the license plate or interior serial numbers have been altered or intentionally removed.
“Larceny by check” refers to the act of deliberately writing a bad check—that is, one that you know will not be covered by sufficient funds in your bank account to pay on the check in an attempt to defraud an individual, bank, or business.
Many people accidentally bounce a check now and then, so in order to prove a charge of larceny by check the district attorney has to establish that you were aware of the lack of funds when you wrote the check, and that you deliberately set out to commit fraud. One way the state attempts to prove you intended to commit fraud is if you ignore the “insufficient funds” notice from your bank, which you banks always send out within a few days after overdrawing your checking account….
In the state of Massachusetts, it’s not only a crime to physically steal something from someone it is also illegal to buy, receive, or store stolen property. But how and when does the law consider it reasonable that person is supposed to know that an item has been stolen?
In the state of Massachusetts, the crime of “larceny by stealing in a building” differs fundamentally from armed or unarmed burglary:
- Charges of armed or unarmed burglary apply mostly to private homes and apartments, as well as office buildings, boats, cars, etc.
- A charge of larceny by stealing in a building can be leveled only when you’ve been accused of stealing property from a non-residential building or vessel, including ships, motor vehicles and even railroad cars.
A retail store may not technically count as a building; larceny from an open store will usually be charged as a different crime, shoplifting…
In a certain sense, the crime of “larceny by stealing from a person” exists in part to give defendants something to plead down to when they’ve been accused of robbery or armed robbery. Robbery and armed robbery are crimes punishable by extremely severe penalties (up to, and including life in prison), whereas, larceny by stealing from a person carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison…