Larceny is defined as taking someone's personal property without their content with the intent of depriving the victim of the ownership or use of that property. This can include theft, pick-pocketing, purse snatching, identity theft, forgery, cashing a check that didn't belong to you (check larceny), or stealing money from a business (embezzlement). Even if the property is not actually on the victim's person, it is still considered larceny if the property was within the victim's control or presence. In Massachusetts, larceny falls into two categories. Petty larceny is when the property in question is valued at less than $250. Typically, petty larceny is charged as a misdemeanor. Grand larceny is a felony crime and is when the property is worth $250 or more.
Sentencing for larceny varies, but the maximum sentence for larceny is five years in prison (the maximum sentence for district courts is two and a half). However, if the victim is 65 years or older, there is a mandatory one year jail sentence for the second offense.
Different types of larceny charges
- Larceny under $250 - Petty Larceny
- Larceny over $250 - Grand Larceny
- Larceny by Stealing
- Larceny by Stealing in a Building
- Larceny by Stealing From the Person
- Larceny of Leased or Rented Property
- Larceny by Check
What's the difference between larceny and robbery?
Robbery involves force or breaking into a residence of building. Another key distinction between larceny and robbery is that the sentences for larceny are typically shorter than sentences for robbery. However, both larceny and robbery charges are serious and can have a tremendously negative impact on the defendant's future if they are not handled by a skilled attorney.
What is involved in a larceny case?
In Massachusetts, larceny cases are typically tried in the district courts. Some larceny cases also result in civil charges. For a criminal conviction in Massachusetts, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant took and carried away property; that the property was owned or possessed by someone other than the defendant; that the defendant took that property from someone who owned or possessed it; and that the defendant intended to deprive the victim of the property permanently. This can be challenging for the prosecution to prove because they must also show a specific intent.
Many times illegal search and seizure plays a role in defending larceny cases. If any of the evidence against you was obtained illegally, you can be sure that our skilled defense attorneys will work to suppress that evidence and clear your name. There are many other strategies that our lawyers can use to have larceny charges voided or lessened. In some cases, our clients are able to settle with the prosecution before the case even goes to trial.
Why should I hire Altman & Altman to handle my larceny case?
Some clients assume that by sitting down with a police officer and explaining their side of the story they will be able to get the charges dropped. However, this is usually not the case, because the prosecution may already be building a case against the potential defendant. Many times a potential defendant will only incriminate themselves because they do not understand the legal ramifications of what they are doing and saying. That is why it's so vitally important to contact a Massachusetts criminal defense attorney before speaking with investigators and/or police. The sooner you contact us, the sooner we can begin working on your case. A former New York City prosecutor leads our team of defense attorneys, so he understands how prosecutors think and build their cases. Our skilled defense lawyers bring over 50 years of combined experience to larceny and other criminal cases. We also have extensive experience in defending white collar crimes and will work aggressively and strategically to ensure the best possible outcomes for our clients.
In addition to having a strong legal background, our attorneys take pride in being accessible to clients around the clock. Being involved in a criminal case is a stressful and emotionally tumultuous situation for many of our clients, so at Altman & Altman, LLP, our phones are answered 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In addition, all email inquiries are responded to without four hours of receipt and often within the hour so that you can get your questions answered anytime day or night. We have represented a variety of clients throughout Massachusetts, and we're ready to build your case, too.
Contact our Boston/Cambridge larceny attorneys for a free initial consultation if you have been charged with larceny or suspect there may be charges pending.