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What is the sentencing for larceny over $250 in Massachusetts?

Worcester, MA |

My cousin and i got caught shoplifting at Macy's. I didnt intend on taking anything but she took so much stuff and then told me she didnt have no room so i put things in my bag for her. Point is it was my bag and we both got caught. I am 20 now but Unfortunately i have previously got caught about 6 years ago when i was 13 but i only got probation so this would be my second offense. The letter from the court says i am being charged for larceny over $250.. what will be my sentencing and is there a way i can keep this from being in my record.

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Attorney answers 3

Posted

Up to 2 1/2 years in the house of correction.

Michael H. Erlich

Michael H. Erlich

Posted

It's actually up to 2 years In district court 5 years if in superior court

Posted

Yes, there is a way to possibly keep this off your record. Does the letter from the court (the summons) say that you have to go for an arraignment or for a Clerk's Hearing?
1. Speak with an attorney IMMEDIATELY and ask for a free consultation
2. Discuss with your attorney the possibility of requesting a Clerk's Hearing a.k.a. a Probable Cause Hearing. This would be the only way to possibly keep it off your record. And that depends on whether the attorney is successful. I have handled many such hearings and in my experience, the fact that you may have no record may play greatly in your favor. Also, are you in school? Are you employed? Many individual factors that are specific to your situation will be considered. Again, speak with an attorney to maximize your chances of success. Follow the link at the end of this response to find out more about these hearings.
3. Since Larceny over $250 is a Felony in Massachusetts, the maximum penalty is up to 5 years in State Prison, or a fine up to $25K, or both. However, given the fact that you do not have a record, jail time is highly unlikely in your case. Again, specific facts to the situation need to be evaluated.
4. Take this very seriously! It may impact your future as a student (if you are one), your potential employment opportunities, and a lot more. Also, do NOT share any more details about your case online. This is a public forum and accessible to anyone, including law enforcement.
Let me know if I can help.

Best of luck,

Law Office of Ilir Kavaja
30 Newbury Street
Boston, MA 02116

(617) 515-5545
www.KavajaLaw.com

The above is NOT legal advice, and is NOT intended to be legal advice. No Attorney-Client relationship is created through the above answer.

Asker

Posted

Thank you very much i understand. The summons says its an arraignment. Yes i am a junior in college and i have a full time job. and where am do i get an attorney?

Ilir Kavaja

Ilir Kavaja

Posted

You are very welcome. Since it is an arraignment, unfortunately there is no way to avoid having it on your Board of Probation Record (BOP). However, as long as you are not convicted for this offense (and do not plead guilty either) then it should not show on your CORI. Again, having an attorney represent you would go a long way. Whether or not you get a court appointed attorney depends on your income. Since you work full time, it may be a close call. As always, if the court does not appoint an attorney, you have the right to either represent yourself (highly inadvisable given the charges), or hire an attorney at your own expense. If you need help finding an attorney to represent you, you may contact any attorney you feel comfortable with here on Avvo, you may call the Mass Bar Association or the Worcester County Bar Association for an attorney referral. Again, best of luck.

Terri D. Leary

Terri D. Leary

Posted

If your incident happened in Worcester county, depending upon the court that it is arraigned in, your attorney may be able to speak with the district attorney and resolve your case at this one hearing. You should really talk with an attorney as soon as possible. Because you have no prior record, you are not likely to go to jail AT ALL on this charge. Because you are a college student, a criminal record could affect your employment opportunities in the future. Also, since this happened at Macy's, I suspect that you will receive a letter called a "civil demand" in the mail that tells you that you owe them $500 in damages. If you go to this link, you can read about that: http://www.avvo.com/legal-guides/ugc/shoplifting--the-civil-demand-letter. Let me know if I can help further.

Posted

This would not be charged as a second offense, because the prior juvenile charge, would not count as a prior conviction. Juvenile charges are technically "adjudications", so even if you were found "delinquent" (the juvenile court equivalent of an adult conviction), the delinquency finding would be an adjudication and not a conviction. That being said, you are charged with a felony, and it appears from your comments that you are on for arraignment. Once arraigned, the charge will appear on your record. Once arraigned, if you qualify for a court-appointed lawyer, you can ask the court to appoint you a lawyer, but it will be too late for the appointed lawyer to attempt to keep this off your record. The better option is to hire your own lawyer now, and have this lawyer see if he can convince the prosecutor to either 1) dismiss the charge prior to arraignment on a hefty fine and/or community service,or 2) dismiss the charge after you enter and complete a diversion program and prior to arraignment, or 3) remand the matter back to a clerk's hearing, despite the fact that you are charged with a felony.

If you cannot get any of these pre-arraignment dispositions and need to tender a plea on this charge, try to get the prosecutor to amend the charge down to a misdemeanor as part of any plea. You are not likely to receive jail time on your first adult offense; the more likely outcome on a plea is a continuation without a finding with 1 year of probation.

Best of luck,

Dominic Pang (617-538-1127)

Disclaimer: This answer is provided for informational purposes only and it is not intended as legal advice. Additionally, this answer does not create an attorney-client relationship. If you wish to obtain legal advice specific to your case, please consult with a local attorney.

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