Larceny by Stealing

Theft Crime Attorney Representing Defendants in Boston and Beyond

When someone takes another person or entity's property without consent, thereby depriving the owner of the ability to use or have it, they have stolen the property or committed theft. A theft crime lawyer should be promptly consulted if you are facing this type of charge. There are several different types of larceny: larceny by stealing, larceny by check, larceny by embezzlement, larceny of a motor vehicle, and larceny by lease. At the Law Offices of Patrick J. Murphy, our experienced Boston larceny lawyer can provide an aggressive defense for people charged with larceny by stealing.

Larceny by Stealing

How serious the charges are for larceny by stealing depends on the worth of the property that was allegedly stolen. The property could be money, bank notes, promissory notes, personal property, a book of accounts involving money or goods due, a public record, a security deposit, domesticated animals, telecommunications services, and more. If the property is under $250, you may be charged with petty theft, which is usually a misdemeanor. However, if the value of the property is more than $250, you will likely be charged with grand larceny. The punishment is likely to be more severe if it is not a first offense or if there are multiple thefts being charged at once.

Grand larceny is a serious charge. Under M.G.L. c. 266, s. 30(1), you may be charged with grand larceny if the prosecution can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you took and carried away property that belonged to someone else, and you intended to deprive the person or entity to whom it belonged of the property permanently. You are considered to have taken and carried off property if you physically transfer it away from another party's control to your own. It does not matter whether the property was physically in your possession at the time that you converted it. For example, if you gain access to the victim's mutual funds and transfer them into your own name, you could be charged with larceny by stealing. The potential punishment if you are convicted is up to five years’ imprisonment in state prison or a fine of up to $25,000 and up to 2.5 years in jail. A larceny attorney can help Boston residents try to avoid or minimize the penalties by developing a strategy to fight the charges.

If you are charged with petit larceny under M.G.L. c. 266, s. 30(1), the prosecution must prove that you stole or obtained someone else’s property through false pretenses with the intent to defraud the owner or steal the property, and the property must be worth less than $250 and not a firearm. With a conviction, you face the possibility of being imprisoned for up to a year in state prison and receiving a fine of up to $300.

When the property is stolen from a common carrier's conveyance or someone carrying on an express business, there is a mandatory minimum sentence of imprisonment for six months to up to 2.5 years, a fine of $50 to $600, or both. Sentences for a second or higher conviction can result in greater penalties. Moreover, if the victim of the larceny is over age 60 or has a disability, the court can order restitution for the value of the property. You must pay this restitution directly to the victim.

You should not assume that a conviction is assured. The burden of proof is high — the prosecution must prove every element beyond a reasonable doubt. A good defense attorney may be able to raise a reasonable doubt with the prosecutor or the jury. For example, there may be another potential suspect, and it may be possible to show that it is equally or more likely that this other person took and carried off the property in question. It may also be possible to reach a plea deal with the prosecutor by raising questions about how the police investigated the case or how they seized the property at issue from your car or home.

Hire a Larceny Lawyer in the Boston Area

If you are charged with larceny by stealing in Massachusetts, it is important to retain an attorney who can fight for your rights. We will consider the facts of your case and develop a compelling strategy for your defense. Call the Law Office of Patrick J. Murphy at 617-367-0450 or contact us via our online form for an appointment with a Boston larceny attorney. Patrick Murphy also assists people fighting charges in Cambridge, Framingham, Lynn, Martha's Vineyard, Medford, Newton, Somerville, Taunton, and other areas of Middlesex, Suffolk, Essex, Barnstable, Hampden, Hampshire, Bristol, and Dukes Counties.

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