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Salem is located in Essex County, Massachusetts, and is famous for its 1692 witch trials. In the present day, it is a pedestrian-friendly town with a cost of living that is 33.4 % higher than the United States average. Salem is low in crime as compared to both Massachusetts as a whole and the United States. By one count, there were 1,212 crimes last year, of which 126 were violent and 1,086 were property crimes. Though these rates may be on the low end, a conviction for committing any of these crimes can still put your future in jeopardy. If you are charged with a crime in Salem, it is crucial to contact an experienced Salem criminal defense attorney to understand the potential consequences and receive the best defense.Property Crimes
Property crimes in Massachusetts are usually theft crimes such as larceny, burglary, and motor vehicle theft. In 1979, arson was also added to the list of property crimes. Today Massachusetts prosecutes several types of theft as “larceny” under General Laws Chapter 266 Section 30. Larceny occurs when a person takes someone else’s property without their consent.
The value of the property that is taken and the circumstances of the stealing affect the type of charge. If the property is less than $250, the offense is likely to be charged as a misdemeanor offense with no jail time. However, if the property is worth more than $250 it will probably be charged as grand larceny, which has a maximum sentence of five years in state prison, a maximum fine of $25,000, or a county jail sentence of up to 2 ½ years.
Other types of theft include robbery, shoplifting, burglary, embezzlement, forgery, and identity theft. Each carries a separate punishment depending upon the circumstances. Take identity theft, for example. It is illegal in Massachusetts to pose as someone else and use that person’s personal identifying information in order to get something of value or to obtain someone else’s personal identifying information in order to pose as them or assist someone in posing as them. A prosecutor must prove that a defendant charged with identity theft acted with intent to defraud and without consent from the victim. Conviction for identity theft may result in up to 2 ½ years in county jail, a fine of up to $5,000, restitution, or all of these.Assault and Other Violent Crimes
Violent crime takes place in Salem as well. Violent crimes include assault as well as murder and rape. Assault alone does not require an actual physical contact or injury; it can mean that the accused caused somebody else to reasonably apprehend that he or she was in danger of harm. Assault can be punished by up to 2 ½ years of imprisonment and fines of up to $1,000.
In Massachusetts, many assault charges are also assault and battery charges in which an injury has resulted from physical contact. There are four types of assault and battery: simple assault and battery, assault and battery, aggravated assault and battery, or assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon. If you are charged with assault and battery with a deadly weapon (which includes cars, guns, or anything that can be used as a weapon), you face up to 10 of imprisonment or up to 2 ½ years in the house of corrections. Moreover, if you intentionally scar or disfigure an individual, you may be charged with mayhem. The potential penalty for mayhem is 20 years in prison.
A person convicted of a crime in Massachusetts may face serious criminal penalties. If you are accused of a crime, you should consult with an experienced Salem criminal defense lawyer right away. Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Neyman at (617) 263-6800 or via our online form.