Worcester Theft Crimes Lawyer
Theft offenses are some of the most common crimes in Worcester County. According to the most recently available data from the Massachusetts Trial Court, Department of Research and Planning, nearly 5,000 people are charged with various theft offenses each year. While some of these crimes, such as a first-time shoplifting charge, are not likely to result in a jail sentence, that isn’t the case for those who have a prior theft conviction or face more serious allegations. At the Law Office of Patrick J. Murphy, our Worcester theft crimes lawyer has more than 25 years of experience handling all types of theft cases. With our help, you can rest assured that your case—and your future—is in good hands.Common Worcester County Theft Crimes
Massachusetts has an entire section of statutes dedicated to theft crimes, entitled “Crimes Against Property,” outlining more than 100 criminal offenses. Of course, some of these crimes are far more common than others. Some of the most frequently charged property crimes in Worcester include:Larceny
Massachusetts law refers to most theft crimes as larceny. Larceny includes stealing another’s property as well as obtaining possession of property through false pretenses. To prove someone committed larceny, the prosecution must establish each of the following elements:
- The defendant took physical possession of property;
- The property belonged to another person;
- The defendant did not have permission to take possession or control of the property; and
- The defendant intended to permanently deprive the rightful owner of the property.
If the value of the stolen property is over $1,200 or involves the theft of a firearm, larceny is punishable by up to five years in jail and a fine of up to $1,500. However, if the property was taken from someone 60 or older, the punishment can include a sentence of up to 10 years in state prison.Shoplifting
Shoplifting is perhaps the most common theft crime in Worcester. And while many shoplifting offenses are minor, that is not always the case. For example, a first or second shoplifting conviction will result in a fine, provided the value of the goods was under $250; however, a third offense carries up to two years in jail. If the value of stolen goods was over $250, even for a first-time offense, a shoplifting conviction may result in a $1,000 fine and up to two years in jail.
Other common theft crimes include:
- Credit card fraud,
- Identity theft,
- Receiving stolen property, and
- Writing bad checks.
Massachusetts law contains a uniquely-phrased sentencing enhancement for those who are convicted of three larceny offenses. Under Mass. General Laws Chapter 266 Section 40, upon a third conviction for any larceny or attempted larceny offense, a defendant is considered a “common and notorious thief” and will face a prison sentence of up to 20 years or a jail sentence of 2.5 years.Are You Facing Theft Charges in Worcester County?
If you were recently arrested for larceny, shoplifting or any other property crime, it is important that you contact an experienced Worcester theft crimes lawyer to get started working on your defense as soon as possible. At the Law Office of Patrick J. Murphy, we have decades of hands-on experience defending clients charged with misdemeanor and felony theft crimes. We understand all the best defenses to larceny and how to use them to ensure our clients have the best chance of beating the case. However, as an experienced negotiator, Attorney Murphy is also skilled at leveraging weaknesses in the government’s case to obtain favorable plea agreements for those clients who are interested. To learn more about how we can help you defend against the allegations you face, give us a call at 617-367-0450 to schedule a free consultation. You can also reach us through our secure online contact form. We proudly represent clients in Fitchburg, Gardner, Leominster, Southbridge and throughout Worcester County, MA.