Shoplifting by Switching Containers

Massachusetts Shoplifting Defense Attorney serving Massachusetts and the Greater Boston area including South Boston, Brockton, Cambridge, Somerville, Quincy, New Bedford, Taunton, Attleboro, Lowell, Woburn, Medford, Waltham, Wareham, Lynn, Lawrence, Wrentham, Dedham, Salem, Fall River, Brookline, Chelsea, Worcester, Framingham, Everett, Revere, Dorchester and Roxbury and all smaller cities and rural areas in Massachusetts.

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Boston Area Theft Crimes and Shoplifting Defense Attorneys

Shoplifting is one of the most commonly committed, and most commonly prosecuted, crimes in the state of Massachusetts.  A conviction for shoplifting usually entails minimal jail time and financial penalties, but it can leave a permanent mark on your record that may make it difficult, even years later, to find a job, obtain a loan, or rent housing—which is why it is important to have an experienced lawyer at your side who will work hard to defend your rights.

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.

Taking an expensive blender out of its box and transferring it into the box of a less expensive model blender with a cheaper price tag is an example of switching containers. Taking a pair of Nike sneakers from its shoebox that has a price sticker on the outside and then transferring them into another shoe box that has a lower price tag on the outside is another example. In this scenario the defendant took the merchandise from its original box and transferred it into another box with the intention of passing off the more expensive merchandise as the less expensive merchandise. This is different from shoplifting by switching a price tag which involves altering the actual price tag or replacing an original price tag with a price tag of a lesser amount. However, in both cases the defendant tries to pay less than the actual cost of the merchandise.

There are other forms of shoplifting by switching containers. For example taking a silver watch and placing it into one of the Nike sneakers and then paying for the Nike sneakers with the watch hidden inside the box, or even the shoes.

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 committed the offense of shoplifting.

If an employee or business owner shows the police officer video footage from surveillance cameras that show someone shoplifting, then the officer has probable cause to arrest that individual. However, police officers and surveillance cameras cannot witness every crime. In these situations the police will not arrest the individual but instead will apply for a complaint at the local district court. 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 Boston Massachusetts Shoplifting and Theft Crimes Defense Attorney

Types of Shoplifting Crimes in Massachusetts

Our criminal defense attorneys have the experience to defend you against an array of shoplifting crimes including:

Call For Your Free Consultation With Experienced Boston Area Shoplifting Defense Lawyers

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’re a first-time offender, the experts at The Noonan Defense Firm 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, since it’s very rare that shoplifting cases are brought all the way to a judge or jury.

No matter where you are located, we are just a phone call away. Call us to schedule a free no-obligation case review and consultation at (508) 584-6955 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.

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Our Boston Shoplifting Defense Attorneys represent the residents of Plymouth County including Brockton, Plymouth, Bridgewater, Marshfield, Hingham, Duxbury, Scituate, Hanover, Wareham, Abington, Rockland, Whitman, Hanson, Holbrook, Kingston, Middleborough; Norfolk County including Quincy, Stoughton, Dedham, Weymouth, Braintree, Avon, Holbrook, Randolph, Canton, Sharon, Brookline, Franklin; Bristol County including New Bedford, Fall River, Taunton, Attleboro, Dartmouth, Westport, Mansfield, Easton, Raynham, Lakeville, Norton; Cape Cod, Falmouth, Barnstable.