Larceny by Stealing From the Person

The crime of larceny by stealing from the person is set out in Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 266 §25. The law states that if you steal from "the person of another" you shall be punished. The maximum sentence is 5 years in prison. If however the victim is 65 years old or older and this is your second offense there is a minimum mandatory 1 year jail sentence. Larceny from the person in Massachusetts means that you have taken personal property from someone with the intent that the victim is deprived of his or her property.

This law requires the prosecution to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you:

  1. That you took and carried away property;
  2. That the property was owned by someone other than you or that the property was possessed by someone other than you;
  3. That you took the property from someone who owned or possessed that property;
  4. That you intended to deprive that person of the property permanently.

This is a lesser included offense of the crime of robbery. This is important in that robbery carries a potential life sentence whereas larceny from the person carries a maximum 5 year prison sentence. Often charges that are initially charged as robberies are reduced to larceny to keep in the case in the district court. The reason for this is simple. When the police first investigate a case they are overwhelmed by facts suggesting that something very serious has happened. This is because people tend to exaggerate their initial claims t the police. Thus, the criminal charge is often something much greater than the actual crime. When cooler heads prevail and the district attorney has had an opportunity to further review and investigate the case charges more consistent with the actual act become the focus of the prosecution. Thus, the larger, more serious crime is reduced. Larceny from the person also includes larceny from the person's presence. In other words, even if you steal something that the victim his not personally holding but the object is within his control or presence you can be found guilty.

Typically larceny cases in Massachusetts are prosecuted in the district courts. The maximum sentence you can receive on a district court case is 2 ½ years on jail. Experienced Massachusetts Theft Crimes Lawyers are often able to dispose of your larceny case in a favorable manner. If you do not have a criminal record many times these cases are continued without a finding. This means that if you stay out of trouble for a designated period of time the case will be dismissed and treated as if it never happened. Usually there is a probationary period associated with a disposition of this type. An order of restitution might be imposed as a condition of probation in larceny cases.

If you have been accused of larceny by stealing from the person or any theft crime you should contact a Massachusetts Criminal Defense Attorney right away. Our office is ready to assist you with your case and to help you defend against criminal charges.

Case Results » Larceny By Stealing from The Person
  • East Brookfield District Court: Felony Larceny Charges Against College Student Dismissed After Clerk Magistrate Hearing

    The defendant is a student at a local college. After a series of thefts at the school local police commenced an investigation. Eventually they ended up at the defendant's apartment where they located several items reported stolen by students and local residents. They established video surveillance of the apartment and were able to observe the defendant bringing additional items, later determined to be stolen, into his apartment building. He was interrogated and the police learned that he had in fact been responsible for all reported thefts. The value of the property exceeded $250 and felony larceny charges were applied for under G.L. c. 266 Section 30. Today, our office succeeded in convincing the clerk magistrate not to issue a criminal complaint.

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  • Charges of Domestic Assault and Battery, Larceny Dismissed Against Filmmaker

    Brookline District Court: The prosecution alleged that on February 16, 2012 Brookline Police were called to a domestic disturbance by the victim's neighbor. The police arrived to find the victim complaining that a family member had attacked her, emptied her purse and stolen her money. The encounter was violent, loud and though to be motivated by drug abuse. The defendant, a local filmmaker was located and arrested. He was charged with Domestic Assault and Battery and Larceny. Today Attorney Neyman succeeded in getting all charges dismissed.

  • Charges of Larceny Over $250 dismissed against college student prior to arraignment

    Boston Municipal Court Docket Number: 09-8909. The defendant attends a college in the Back Bay of Boston. On December 5, 2009 she was shopping on Newbury Street. At approximately 1:20 p.m. Boston Police were called to a high end clothing store for a report of a theft of items valued at over two hundred fifty dollars. They encountered the defendant, an eighteen year old college freshman with items valued at over two hundred fifty dollars in her purse. She was arrested and charged with Larceny Over $250, a felony in Massachusetts. The student hired Attorney Stephen Neyman who today got all charges dismissed prior to arraignment. The student will be required to perform twenty five hours community service only.

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