Theft Offense Attorney Lowell, MA

Nason Law has handled many cases involving theft, ranging from simple larceny to breaking and entering and beyond. If you or someone you know has been charged with a theft related offense contact, Nason Law today for a free consultation.

Definition of Theft Crimes

Larceny

  • Larceny from the person is the wrongful taking of personal property from the person of another, or from the immediate area of control of another, with the intent to deprive that person of such property permanently.
  • To prove a larceny, the Commonwealth must show that the defendant took and carried away property;
  • That the property was owned or possessed by someone other than the defendant; That the defendant took the property from the person of someone who owned or possessed it; That the defendant did so with the intent to deprive that person of the property permanently.
  • Where the value of the property is over $250 the larceny is charged as a felony.
  • Where the value of the property is under $250 it is charged as a misdemeanor.
  • The Commonwealth has to prove each element beyond a reasonable doubt.

Shoplifting

  • There are many different types of shoplifting some of the most common are, shoplifting by walking away with an item, shoplifting by concealing and, shoplifting by switching a price tag,
  • Any person who intentionally (takes possession of, carries away, transfers) (or) (causes to be carried away or transferred) any merchandise displayed, held, stored or offered for sale by a store or other retail merchant, with the intention of depriving the merchant of its possession, use or benefit or converting it to his (her) use without having paid the merchant its value, shall be guilty of shoplifting
  • In order to prove the defendant guilty of this offense, the Commonwealth must prove three things beyond a reasonable doubt:
    First: That the defendant intentionally (took possession of, carried away, or transferred) (or) (caused to be carried away or transferred) retail merchandise; Or any person who intentionally conceals on his person or elsewhere any retail merchandise
    Second: That the merchandise was owned or possessed by someone other than the defendant; and
    Third: That the defendant (took possession of, carried away, or transferred) (or) (caused to be carried away or transferred) that merchandise and did so (with an intent to deprive the merchant of its possession, use or benefit) (or) (with an intent to convert it to his [her] own use without having paid full value for it).
  • A shoplifting under $100 must be charged as shoplifting, but a shoplifting in value over $100 can be charged as either shoplifting or larceny.

Malicious Destruction of Property:

  • The crime of malicious destruction of property can be a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the value or kind of the property at issue.
  • Where the value of the property is over $250 the larceny is charged as a felony.
  • Where the value of the property is under $250 it is charged as a misdemeanor.
  • If the property involved was worth more than $250, or was a motor vehicle, the offense is a felony.
  • Malicious damage to a motor vehicle, and vandalism, are felonies and include a period of driver's license suspension by the registry of motor vehicles.

Breaking and Entering:

  • Under Massachusetts General Laws, you can be charged with Breaking and Entering to boats, vessels, houses, and vehicles.
  • In order to prove the defendant guilty of this offense, the Commonwealth must prove four things beyond a reasonable doubt:
    First: That the defendant broke into a (building) (ship) (vessel) (vehicle) belonging to another person;
    Second: That the defendant entered that (building) (ship) (vessel) (vehicle);
    Third: That the defendant did so with the intent to commit a felony or misdemeanor in that (building) (ship) (vessel) (vehicle); and
    Fourth: That this event took place during the nighttime or daytime.
  • Breaking has been defined as exerting physical force, even slight physical force, and thereby forcibly removing an obstruction and gaining entry.
  • These charges are differ based on the time of day or night when the event occurred and, more importantly, based on the intent of the person doing the entering.
  • The intent element is of crucial importance because it is what determines whether it is a misdemeanor or felony versions of the charge of breaking and entering.

Forgery & Uttering:

  • Forgery is the making of a false document, or the alteration of a true document to make it false, with the intent to injure or defraud.
  • Uttering is passing or publishing a forged document with the intent to injure or defraud.
  • Any document can be forged or uttered, but the most common documents are checks, prescriptions, and property orders.
  • In cases of forgery/uttering, the police will try to prove that a document is forged by contacting the person who is responsible for the document.

Robbery:

  • Robbery is theft from a person with the use force or the threat of force. The penalties are based on the fact of the case, and what someone's prior criminal record looks like.
  • The Commonwealth must prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the person was masked or had his or her facial features concealed, or that they used a weapon to commit the offense.
  • The mandatory minimum sentence is five years in the state prison. Penalties range up to life imprisonment, and the mandatory minimums increase depending primarily on the number prior convictions a person may have.
  • If you, or anyone you know has been charged with robbery or any other crime, call me to discuss your rights and your options
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