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