Motor Vehicle Property Crimes
Motor Vehicle Theft Crimes in Massachusetts
As a state, Massachusetts is no stranger to motor vehicle related property crimes. In the Commonwealth, motor vehicle theft related crimes is covered in G.L. c. 266, § 28, the criminal statute that punishes the following prohibited acts with respect to motor vehicles or trailers:
- Stealing or maliciously damaging a motor vehicle or its trailer in Massachusetts;
- Buying, receiving, possessing or concealing a motor vehicle in Massachusetts or its trailer knowing or having reason to know the motor vehicle is stolen;
- Taking or obtaining control of a motor vehicle without the authority of the owner in Massachusetts and stealing any of its parts or accessories.
The Massachusetts motor vehicle theft statute also considers evidence that an identifying number or numbers of a motor vehicle or trailer or part of one has been intentionally and/or maliciously:
This can result in entry into the court record of proof or prima facie evidence that a defendant knew or had reason to know that the motor vehicle or trailer or part thereof had been stolen.
In order for the Commonwealth to charge someone with this crime, the Commonwealth must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant knew that the motor vehicle or the parts of the motor vehicle was in fact stolen. This element is the most challenging to prove, as someone can buy the property without the knowledge that it was in fact stolen. Many times, an innocent person can find themselves facing rather harsh penalties, when they in fact had done nothing wrong and had purchased a car from someone that they believed was a legitimate party.
This law also provides for enhanced punishment if a person convicted of a second or subsequent offense of the motor vehicle theft law. If so, a defendant would not be eligible for any of the following ways to avoid prolonged incarceration:
- Work Release
As you can see, this is harsh and complicated law, and it is best to receive professional legal help as soon as possible when you are facing felony charges.
Boston, Massachusetts Motor Vehicle Theft Crimes Lawyer
In summary, both the police and courts take the charge of stealing and concealing stolen property very seriously. If you are charged with any Massachusetts motor vehicle theft offense, it is best to get an attorney involved as early as possible and it is wise not to talk with the police until you have secured counsel. Attorney Patrick J. Murphy offers a free, confidential consultation and has had over nineteen years of experience with motor vehicle property theft crimes. There are a number of ways to resolve a case while keeping your record clean, but it is very important to get an attorney that can assist you. Contact the Law Office of Patrick J. Murphy today at 617-367-0450.