Suffolk Theft Crimes Attorney

Skilled Massachusetts Criminal Defense Attorney Fighting on Behalf of Clients Charged with Property Crimes in Revere, Chelsea and Winthrop

If you’ve been arrested for theft, larceny or shoplifting, it’s easy to give up hope. Maybe a police officer or security guard stopped you with stolen property, or the store’s surveillance system shows you stashing items in a coat or purse. However, no matter how bad the evidence may look at first glance, there are almost always defenses available. At the Law Office of Patrick J. Murphy, our dedicated Suffolk theft crimes lawyer has more than 25 years of experience defending the rights of clients charged with larceny, credit card fraud, shoplifting and other property crimes. We take pride in providing every client with the individualized attention they deserve, ensuring that we do everything possible to reach the best result possible.

How Is Theft Defined in Massachusetts?

Massachusetts has many different theft crimes; however, most share a few basic elements. Typically, any theft offense requires the prosecution to prove the following elements:

  • You took or exercised control over property;
  • The property belonged to someone else;
  • You did not have the owner’s permission; and
  • You intended to deprive the owner of their interest in the property.

These elements make out the crime of larceny, which is generally used in the criminal justice system with referring to theft. However, there are many variations of theft crimes.

What Are the Most Common Theft Charges in Suffolk County?

In Suffolk County, the most commonly charged theft crimes include the following:

Most thefts are not violent crimes. However, a small subset of these offenses straddles the line between property crimes and violent crimes, such as robbery, carjacking and burglary. Individuals facing any theft-related crime should reach out to an experienced Suffolk theft crimes attorney to learn more about their options and how to effectively defend against the government’s allegations.

Is Larceny a Felony or Misdemeanor in Massachusetts?

In Massachusetts, larceny can be either a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the value of the allegedly stolen property and, in some cases, who owned the property. For example, theft of goods valued at under $1,200 is a misdemeanor, which carries a possible jail sentence of up to one year and a fine of $1,500. If the value of the items was greater than $1,200, the offense is a felony, punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of $25,000.

However, if the alleged victim was disabled or over 60 years old, any theft of goods valued at more than $250 is considered a felony. In this case, a larceny conviction carries a sentence of up to 10 years in state prison or 2.5 years in a house of correction.

Similarly, theft of a firearm—regardless of the gun’s value—is a felony, which is punishable by up to five years in state prison.

Defenses to Suffolk Theft Crimes

Just because you’ve been arrested for larceny or another theft crime doesn’t mean you’ll be found guilty. There are many defenses that can reduce your exposure or even result in the prosecution withdrawing your case or a jury acquitting you of all charges. Some of the most common defenses to property crimes include:

  • Evidence of the theft was obtained through an illegal search or seizure;
  • You did not intend to permanently deprive the owner of the property;
  • The owner of the property inflated the value of the stolen goods or services;
  • You had permission to take, use or control the property; or
  • You had or legitimately thought you had a legitimate ownership interest in the property.
Are You Looking for an Experienced Suffolk County Larceny Lawyer?

If you face charges related to larceny, shoplifting, or any other theft offense, the Law Office of Patrick J. Murphy is immediately available to discuss your case and get started working on your defense. Attorney Murphy is a veteran Suffolk County criminal defense attorney who has the knowledge, experience and dedication needed to handle serious theft cases. We take a personalized approach to every case we handle, taking the time to understand your side of the story and what’s important to you. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation with an attorney today, call 617-367-0450 or reach out to us through our online contact form. We represent clients throughout Suffolk County, including in Chelsea, Revere, and Winthrop.

Client Reviews
"Highly Recommended. Attorney Patrick J. Murphy absolutely helped me out in my time of need. When I met him in his Boston office he put me right at ease and explained the criminal process to me in a way I could easily understand and in a manner that gave me complete confidence. I was facing a criminal wanton destruction of property charge in Barnstable District Court. On the day of the case, he was at the courthouse waiting for me and my wife. Mr. Murphy handled the hearing in a very thorough and professional manner putting us through our testimony and making a powerful argument to the decision maker. My case was thrown out and I could not be happier with the service from Attorney Murphy. I highly recommend him to you as a skilled legal advocate!" Rob, Avvo User
"Excellent Criminal Defense Lawyer. From the first consultation I knew Patrick Murphy was the right choice for my criminal defense. He was knowledgeable of the laws and knew how to build up a strong defense for my case. Every phone call and email I made was promptly answered. When it came time for my hearing, Patrick was prepared and able to get the criminal complaint against me dropped without ever becoming charge! Would highly recommend this attorney to anyone seeking a top quality defense attorney to handle their case!" John, Avvo User
"OUI Not Guilty Verdict. Patrick Murphy provided excellent service as council on my case. He worked diligently over a long legal process that spanned over 3 years. He was able to take my case to a Jury Trial and get me a Not Guilty verdict through he expert knowledge of the law and expertise in cross examination of the prosecutions witnesses. He was very professional and available at anytime night or day to answer questions." Chris, Avvo User
"Highly Skilled and Professional Lawyer. Attorney Pat Murphy did a great job guiding me through an A&B charge, and most importantly getting the case dismissed in a very timely manner. He is very professional, returns call promptly, and did a great explaining his strategy and the legal process to me. I was confident throughout the whole process that I was in good hands and would receive the best possible outcome in my case. Would highly recommended Attorney Murphy." Avvo User
"I Felt That I was in Good Hands... and I Was! Mr. Patrick J. Murphy was very quick to respond to my needs. He was always there to answer any questions I had in a timely fashion, and he made me feel very comfortable in an extremely uncomfortable situation. Having Mr. Murphy by my side in the courtroom felt like I was at an advantage. He speaks with confidence. He doesn't stutter or pause while put on the spot. He treated me with respect. He listens. He always greeted me with a warm welcome and never wasted any time." Avvo User