Larceny by Stealing from a Person

One of the most common crimes committed involves the stealing or taking of another person’s property; this crime is known as larceny.  There are two types of larceny by stealing, distinguishable by the amount of property that has been taken: petit larceny and grand larceny. However, unlike larceny offenses by G.L. c. 266, s. 30, the issue of whether the stolen property is worth more or less than $250 (petit vs. grand larceny) is irrelevant to the punishment provided under this section. For purposes of this crime, property is defined to include money, personal chattels, a bank note, bond, promissory note, bill of exchange or other bill, order or certification, a book of accounts for or concerning money or goods due or to become due or to be delivered, a deed or writing containing a conveyance of land, any valuable contract in force, a receipt, release or defeasance, a writ, process, certificate of title, a public record, a security deposit, electronically processed or stored data, data while in transit, telecommunications services, and any domesticated animal, including dogs, or a beast or bird which is ordinarily kept in confinement. The government treats larceny offenses and property theft crimes in Massachusetts seriously and a conviction can have lasting consequences, especially for repeat offenders.  Larceny offense cases can often be challenged and won with the right defense lawyer on your side. It is important for clients faced with a larceny charge to take the first step and get legal advice from a talented Massachusetts theft crimes attorney before proceeding in any way.

Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 266 §25(b) concerns itself with larceny by stealing from a person. 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. This is a lesser-included offense of the crime of robbery. The laws provides that anyone who commits larceny by stealing from the person of another shall be punishable by the following:
  • Imprisonment in the state prison for no more than 5 years, or
  • Imprisonment in jail for no more than 2.5 years.

M.G.L. c. 266, s. 25(a) dictates that any individual who commits larceny by stealing from the person of another person over the age of 65 is punishable under the law. This is an aggravated form of the larceny by stealing from a person offense. In either grand larceny or petit larceny cases, a court may order restitution for the value of the property to be paid to the victim. A conviction for larceny from a person 65 years or older shall result in the following punishments:
  • Imprisonment in the state prison for not more than 5 years, or
  • Imprisonment in the house of correction for more than 2.5 years, or

A conviction for larceny by stealing from a person, at whatever age, shall result in the mandatory imprisonment for 2 years for any second or subsequent offenders. Furthermore, the sentence is not eligible to be reduced, nor shall the offender be eligible for probation, parole, furlough, work release, until one year of the sentence has been served.

In order to secure a conviction for a charge of larceny by stealing from the person, the prosecution is required to prove four elements of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt:
  1. The defendant took and carried away property;
  2. The property was owned or possessed by someone other than the defendant;
  3. The defendant took the property from the person of someone who owned or possessed it, or from such a person’s area of control in his or her presence; and
  4. The defendant did so with the intent to deprive that person of the person permanently.
If the case involves a person 65 years of age or older, the prosecution will be required to prove a fifth element determining whether the alleged victim was a person 65 years or older.

Boston, Massachusetts Theft Crimes Defense Attorney
At the Law Office of Patrick J. Murphy, we offer the in-depth, insightful experience you need. With over 18 years of experience and knowledge of the law and the legal system, Attorney Murphy understands the seriousness of a larceny charge, how best to defend you, and how to resolve your case in the most favorable way possible. From our office in downtown Boston, the Law Office of Patrick J. Murphy represents individuals charged with larceny and other theft crimes in Suffolk County, and in many other counties in Massachusetts. Contact our office today by calling 617-367-0450 or by directly emailing Attorney Murphy now through our online contact page. Communicate with Attorney Murphy 24/7 about the facts of your case and benefit from his knowledge and experience today.

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