Law and Justice

Theft Crimes

Under Massachusetts law, there are various theft crimes for which a person can be charged. Theft crimes can be felonies or misdemeanors, and there is a wide range of possible punishments. The punishment depends on many factors, including: the crime committed, whether the defendant has a criminal record, whether the defendant has been convicted of a theft crime in the past, and whether the defendant used a weapon.

At common law, there were three major theft crimes: larceny, embezzlement and obtaining property by false pretenses. Problems often arose in prosecutions of these theft crimes, however, because there were many seemingly arbitrary differences between the three. It was not uncommon for the prosecution to lose its case by alleging the wrong theft crime. Therefore, in an effort to make things easier and reduce these types of prosecutorial missteps, Massachusetts combined these theft crimes into one overarching crime called “larceny.” The statute that governs “larceny” is Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 266 Section 30. However, the common law distinctions between larceny, embezzlement and obtaining property by false pretenses are still very relevant because a prosecutor is required to prove all of the elements of one of them in order to convict a defendant under that statute.

Aside from larceny, embezzlement and obtaining property by false pretenses, other theft crimes include different types of burglary, robbery, home invasion, receiving stolen property, and “white collar crimes” such as fraud.

If you have been charged with any theft crime in Massachusetts, it is important to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney. Depending on the particular theft crime and the facts of your case, you could be facing time in prison, fines, restitution, probation, or community service. Many theft crimes cases are winnable, but only with a skilled defense lawyer on your side. The criminal defense practice group at Altman & Altman LLP has been successfully handling all types of theft crimes for decades. Our talented lawyers have a history of success in handling the following theft-related crimes:

If you have been charged with a theft crime, call the experienced criminal defense attorneys of Altman & Altman at 617.492.3000 or 800.481.6199 toll-free, or contact us online for a free consultation.

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