Worcester Theft Crimes Lawyer

Massachusetts Criminal Defense Lawyer Aggressively Representing Individuals Charged with Property Crimes in Fitchburg, Gardner, Leominster and Southbridge

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:


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 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:

  • Robbery,
  • Burglary,
  • Credit card fraud,
  • Identity theft,
  • Receiving stolen property, and
  • Writing bad checks.
What Is a Common and Notorious Thief?

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.

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