Massachusetts General Laws Ch 266 Sec 30A sets out the penalties for shoplifting. Under Massachusetts law shoplifting under $100 can result in:
1. First offense fine up to $250,
2. Second offense fine up to $500,
3. Third & later offenses fine up to $500 and jail up to 2 years.
4. Shoplifting over $100 comes with a fine up to $1000 and/or up to 2.5 years jail.
It is important to remember that shoplifting is a criminal offense and can result in a criminal record for those accused of shoplifting. Additionally, Massachusetts law allows for the stores that are shoplifted from to obtain civil damages up to $500 over actual damages. This is often done by the store sending you a Civil Demand Letter requesting that you pay the store an amount up to $500. Often the store will only send the Demand Letter without ever filing a civil suit, given the expense of filing and pursuing a civil law suit it is usually considered not cost effective for the company to do so.
Of some additional consideration is that sometimes the police will charge a shoplifting as a larceny under $250 which has a potential sentence of one year in jail or if the value was over $250 can and sometimes do charge a shoplifting as a larceny over $250, which is a felony with a potential penalty of 5 years in state prison and/or a fine up to $25,000.
Shoplifting and larceny charges in Massachusetts are serious business with far reaching implications. Given all that is at stake it is important to engage a criminal defense attorney with experience. Attorney Newton has handled hundreds of larceny cases and gives you the experience you deserve when you need it the most. Call today for a free consultation.
David Newton, Esq.