For a Free Consultation
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:
- That you took and carried away property;
- That the property was owned by someone other than you or that the property was possessed by someone other than you;
- That you took the property from someone who owned or possessed that property;
- 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.