Larceny charges in Massachusetts – What you need to know

Larceny is the unlawful taking of another person’s property without their consent. For petty larceny of items valued at under $250, the offender will face a misdemeanor charge with up to one year in jail and fines of up to $300. Grand larceny, also known as grand theft, is a felony offense in Massachusetts. A charge of grand larceny could land you in state prison for up to five years, with fines of up to $25,000. If you’ve been charged with larceny, contact a Boston criminal defense lawyer today.

Larceny charges are serious. But the good news is, if you’ve been accused of larceny, a Boston criminal defense attorney with extensive experience fighting larceny cases may help you walk away with reduced charges, or no charges at all. It is up to the prosecution to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that your actions met all the elements required to be considered larceny. The elements of larceny are:

  1. Unlawful taking and carrying away of
  2. another person’s property
  3. without that person’s consent,
  4. and with the intent to permanently deprive that person of his or her property.

If any of the above factors are not present, the charge of larceny may be reduced or dropped altogether. If, for example, the prosecution cannot show that your intent was to permanently deprive the owner of the item you took, the act may not be considered larceny. This is where having skilled legal representation can be the difference between a clean record and time behind bars. Contact a Boston larceny defense lawyer today.

Did Your Actions Constitute Larceny?

Larceny can be complicated. As in the above example, if one of the elements of larceny is not present, larceny may not exist. However, if all elements were initially present, but you attempted to correct your actions, larceny may still exist. For example, if you felt guilty the next day and attempted to return the item you took, this does not absolve you from any wrongdoing. If you committed larceny prior to returning the stolen item, you may still be charged with larceny. However, a knowledgeable lawyer may be able to show that the act of returning the item proves that your intent was not to “permanently deprive the person of his or her property”, one of the necessary elements of larceny.

Furthermore, taking something that you believe belongs to you does not constitute an act of larceny. Therefore, if it can be shown that you believed you had a right to the property in question, the larceny charges may be dropped. This is true even if your belief was inaccurate; what matters is that you had a good-faith belief that the property belonged to you. In this case, the burden of proof is on the defense.

Altman & Altman, LLP – Criminal Defense Lawyers Serving All of Massachusetts

If you are facing charges of larceny, theft, burglary, robbery, or any other type of criminal act, the skilled criminal defense team at Altman & Altman, LLP can help. We will fight tirelessly to protect your reputation and your freedom. We understand that good people sometimes get caught up in bad things. Our skilled defense team will make sure you understand your rights and options before moving forward with a legal strategy. Our goal is to keep your record clean and keep you out of jail. Contact Altman & Altman, LLP today for a free and confidential consultation about your case.


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