Don’t Let a Criminal Larceny Charge Ruin Your Life!

Arrested for Larceny or Shoplifting in Massachusetts?

A Massachusetts theft, embezzlement or larceny charge can have serious consequences if not handled properly. The earlier you call me, the more I can do to help, and the better your chances of beating the case.

Particularly before you are even charged with a crime, such as if you get a citation to appear at a clerk magistrate’s hearing.

These cases are often beatable for court costs without getting a criminal charge on your record. Even when you know you are guilty.

Please call or text me, and I’ll let you know how I can help.

Massachusetts Larceny / Shoplifting Laws

The most common larceny charge is shoplifting. Larceny might be the theft or any object, pickpocketing, purse snatching, stealing funds from a business (embezzlement) or check larceny / cashing a check that didn’t belong to you.

Massachusetts penalties for larceny are divided into the categories of larceny over $250 in value, and larceny under $250. They can go up to:

  • Five years in prison and a $25,000 fine if the property stolen exceed $250 in value.
  • One year in prison and a fine of $300 if the property stolen is less than $250 in value.

Larceny from a person is a misdemeanor charge in Massachusetts.

If you are facing a Massachusetts shoplifting charge, the specific penalty varies depending on the value of the goods and the number of prior offenses. For shoplifting items valued at less than $100, the penalties are:

  • up to a $250 fine for a 1st shoplifting offense;
  • up to a $500 fine for a 2nd shoplifting offense;
  • imprisonment of up to 2 years for a 3rd shoplifting offense.

If you are convicted of shoplifting items valued at equal to or more than $100, the penalty for a first offense can go up to 2 1/2 years and a fine of $1000.

Please refer to my shoplifting law page for more details on shoplifting laws & how to beat a shoplifting charge.

You can be charged with theft of any item that can have an estimated dollar value. If you are accused of theft of a snake, you can be charged with larceny under $100. If it is a rare or valuable snake, you could be charged with larceny over $250.

Embezzlement is very similar to larceny, but in an embezzlement case, you have an established and legitimate reason to have access to the funds or goods allegedly embezzled. For example in a business situation where you had the necessary access to bank accounts or funds, it is not the same thing as taking something which you should never have had possession or domain over.

Larceny & Shoplifting Defense Strategies

How to Beat Your Clerk Magistrate's Hearing

How to Beat Your Clerk Magistrate’s Hearing

There are a number of strong defense strategies to beat a shoplifting or larceny charge. Depending on the situation and the evidence against you, I’ll try to get the arrest voided at a show cause, or Clerk Magistrate’s hearing.

I wrote a book on winning clerk magistrate’s hearings. We can very often get these cases dropped without any criminal charge being formally filed.

That’s the best way to win, and keep your record clean.

No one will ever know you were charged with shoplifting, it’s like it didn’t happen.

If the case advances beyond that, There are also a number of constitutional rights that can come into play, and I’ll file a number of motions to make sure that any alleged evidence against you was legally obtained, and that your rights were not violated.


For larceny or embezzlement of larger amounts, full or partial restitution is frequently offered in exchange for reducing or dropping the charges. The victim frequently will agree to that if it means getting the money back promptly. For this reason, many embezzlement charges never go to trial. A smart defense lawyer will usually find a way to settle the case that is agreeable to all parties.

In an embezzlement case, it is easier to argue that a simple honest mistake was made since you were legitimately in contact with the funds or bank accounts where the money was taken.

There may be an opportunity to get the charges dismissed entirely in exchange for restitution, i.e., a full financial settlement to the victim.

I am in different courts around Massachusetts every day, defending my client’s rights and freedom on charges of larceny, grand larceny, embezzlement and many other criminal charges. If you’ve been accused of larceny/shoplifting, stealing, theft, check cashing/bounced check, or any other criminal offense, and need someone who will fight for your rights, call me anytime for a consultation.

By calling, you have nothing to lose but the tremendous emotional stress your arrest has brought you. Defending people is what I do for a living. Call to set up a free consultation now.



Chapter 266: Section 30 Larceny; general provisions and penalties