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.
Generally speaking, there are two forms of shoplifting:
- Shoplifting merchandise with a value under $100; and
- Shoplifting merchandise with a value over $100.
The penalties for shoplifting depend on the value of the merchandise stolen:
- If the total value of the merchandise is less than $100, a first-time offender is subject to a $250 fine, a second-time offender a $500 fine and a third-time offender faces a fine and or imprisonment in a jail for not more than two years.
- If the value of the goods stolen is more than $100, the penalties are more serious: up to 30 months in jail and a $1,000 fine, even for a first-time offender.
There are many forms of shoplifting including shoplifting by ringing up a false price. This form of shoplifting usually involves a cashier and shopper working together. The shopper will bring the merchandise to the cashier’s register where the cashier will charge less than the actual cost of the merchandise. The shopper will pay the reduced price and leave.
There are many forms of shoplifting. including shoplifting by switching containers. Anyone who intentionally takes merchandise on display or contained in its original package and transfers it into some other box with the intention of stealing the merchandise or not paying the actual price will be found guilty of shoplifting by switching containers.
The shoplifting by concealing statute means that you don’t need to take the merchandise out of the store in order to be found guilty of a shoplifting crime. All the prosecutor has to show is that the defendant removed the merchandise from the display or shelf and concealed it. This is form of shoplifting can be difficult to charge especially in the case in self-service stores where people remove merchandise from displays or shelves and walk with them while they continue shopping. To get this charge to stick the prosecutor will have to show that there was some form of concealment that indicated the defendant did not intend to pay for the merchandise. Putting merchandise in a shoe or sock or placing it in the inside pocket of a coat usually indicates an intention to take the merchandise without paying for it.
Pawn shop owners are frequent victims of larceny by false pretense. The charge of larceny by false pretense is usually brought when someone successfully pawns property that they don’t own because it is either stolen or borrowed. Usually all the elements listed above are satisfied when someone brings a watch they know is stolen to a pawnshop and presents it as their own. In this situation they are representing that the watch is theirs and the pawn shop, believing them, hands over money in return. It should be noted that it doesn’t matter whether the victim/pawn shop could have uncovered the thief’s lie if he investigated because the pawnbroker in this case has a right to rely on the thief’s statements and representations, unless it is obvious the thief is lying.
In the state of Massachusetts, breaking and entering is defined as entering any type of location (a home, an office building, or even a car) without permission and with the intent of committing a crime. Breaking and Entering in the Daytime with the Intent to Commit a Felony is a crime governed by Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 266 § 18. Anyone found guilty of breaking and entering in the daytime with the intent to commit a Felony faces or fine up to $500 or imprisonment in a state prison for a maximum of 10 years, or imprisonment in the house of corrections for a maximum of 2 ½ years.
Armed robbery while masked is an extremely serious crime, a conviction for which carries a mandatory minimum sentence in state prison for 15 years. Broadly speaking, in the state of Massachusetts, a person can be charged with armed robbery if he was armed with a dangerous weapon while assaulting another person and robbing another person (on the street, in a store, at home, etc.) It is not necessary to have used, or even displayed, the weapon in question, but there does have to be an implicit threat of force.