Larceny by Stealing

One of the most common crimes committed involves the stealing or taking of another person’s property; this crime is known as larceny. The crime of larceny is a common law crime involving the theft of another person’s property with the intent to deprive him or her of its possession permanently. It has such been adopted into the Massachusetts General Laws under Section 30 of Chapter 266. There are two types of larceny by stealing, distinguishable by the amount of property that has been taken: petit larceny and grand larceny. Grand larceny occurs when the value of the goods, money or stolen property exceeds $250, and is a serious felony. By contrast, petit larceny, which involves thefts of less than $250, is a misdemeanor crime. 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. While larceny by stealing is a relatively minor infraction when compared with some violent offenses, a conviction for any crime is a big deal. In this case, it could leave you with fines and possible jail time, as well as a permanent mark on your record or worse unless you enlist in the services of a knowledgeable Boston theft crimes defense lawyer. Please click here for information on larceny by stealing from a person, or larceny by stealing in a building.

Larceny over $250/Grand Larceny
M.G.L. c. 266, s. 30(1) provides that any individual who steals, or with intent to defraud obtains by a false pretense, or unlawfully and with intent to steal or embezzle, converts, or secretes with intent to convert the property of another shall be guilty of larceny if that property exceeds $250 or if that property is a firearm. For the purposes of this crime, it does not matter whether or not such property is in his or her possession at the time of such conversion or secreting. A conviction for larceny over $250 is punishable by the following:
  • Imprisonment in the state prison for no more than 5 years, or
  • A maximum fine of $25,000 and imprisonment in jail for no more than 2.5 years.
Larceny under $250/Petit Larceny
M.G.L. c. 266, s. 30(1) provides that any individual who steals, or with intent to defraud obtains by a false pretense, or unlawfully and with intent to steal or embezzle, converts, or secretes with intent to convert the property of another shall be guilty of larceny if that property is less than $250 or if that property is not a firearm. A conviction for petit larceny is punishable by the following:
  • Imprisonment in the state prison for no more than 1 year, or
  • A maximum fine of $300.
In either charge of Larceny under $250 or Larceny over $250, if the property was stolen from the conveyance of a common carrier or of a person carrying on an express business, the offender shall be punishable by the following:
  • Mandatory minimum imprisonment for 6 months (maximum sentence for 2.5 years), or
  • A fine of not less than $50 nor more than $600, or
  • Both fine and imprisonment.
Any second or subsequent conviction under this section shall result in the following:
  • Mandatory imprisonment for 18 months to 2.5 years,
  • A fine ranging from $150 to $600. Or
  • Both fine and imprisonment. 
PERSONS OVER 60/PERSONS WITH DISABILITY
M.G.L. c. 266, s. 30(5) dictates that any individual who steals or with intent to defraud obtains by a false pretense, or whoever unlawfully and with intent to steal or embezzle, converts or secretes with intent to convert the property of another individual over the age of 60 or any person with a disability is punishable under the law. 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 over $250 from a person over 60 or with a disability shall result in the following punishments:
  • Imprisonment in the state prison for not more than 10 years, or
  • Imprisonment in the house of correction for more than 2.5 years, or
  • A fine not to exceed $50,000, or
  • Both such fine and imprisonment
A conviction for Larceny under $250 from a person over 60 or with a disability shall result in the following punishments:
  • Imprisonment in the house of correction for not more than 2.5 years, or
  • A fine not to exceed $1,000, or
  • By both fine and imprisonment.
TRADE SECRETS
M.G.L. c. 266, s. 30(4) dictates that any individual who steals or with intent to defraud obtains by a false pretense, or whoever unlawfully and with intent to steal or embezzle, converts, secretes, unlawfully takes, carries away, conceals or copies with intent to convert any trade secret of another shall be guilty of larceny. For the purposes of this crime, the value of the trade secret shall not be a concern nor shall whether or not such trade secret was in the possession of the offender at the time of such conversion or secreting. Trade secrets is termed to include anything tangible or intangible or electronically kept or stored, which constitutes, represents, evidences or records a secret scientific, technical, merchandising, production or management information, design, process, procedure, formula, invention or improvement. A conviction for this offense shall result in the following punishments:
  • Imprisonment in the state prison for not more than 2.5 years, or
  • A maximum fine of $25,000 and imprisonment in jail for no more than 2 years.
Tough Massachusetts Theft Crimes Defense Attorney
While the job of a prosecutor is to prepare a case against you and prove your guilt in regards to a crime, it is the job of a talented defense attorney to defend your rights aggressively in order to avoid a conviction for the offense charged. The Law Office of Patrick J. Murphy has substantial trial experience defending clients accused of larceny, and is ready, willing and able to put that experience to work for you. If you’ve been accused of larceny by stealing, a skilled defense attorney with specialized knowledge in the field of theft crimes will battle for you at trial to win your case.  Attorney Murphy may be also able to have the charges dismissed, or reduced down to lesser charges in order to avoid a trial. Don’t jeopardize your future; contact the Law Office of Patrick J. Murphy immediately for a free legal assessment of your case by calling 617-367-0450 or submitting the online contact form directly to Attorney Murphy.

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