Facing criminal charges is never an easy thing. No matter how “minor” the charges are, they are bound to cause some stress as you face the potential for fines, jail time, and untold effects on your reputation and relationships. A local defense attorney can help put it all in perspective, working to ensure you get the best possible results on your day in court.
In Massachusetts, shoplifting laws are not considered a trivial thing. These are serious criminal charges. Whether you stole because you felt like you didn’t have a choice or if you simply did it because you didn’t think you would get caught—you now have to deal with the police and the courts in ways you may have never have before.
If this is your first experience in the criminal court system, you have every right to be nervous. But, when you have an experienced and aggressive defense attorney on your side, you can be confident that your rights are protected.
Massachusetts Shoplifting Penalties
Like most states, the penalty you face for a shoplifting charge in Massachusetts is dependent on the value of the goods you are accused of stealing, Your criminal history also plays a role at sentencing.
If the goods were valued at less than $100, you will face fines of $250 for a first offense and $500 for a second offense. However, for a third offense shoplifting you will face possible incarceration of up to 2 years.
If the goods were valued at $100 or more, you will face up to 28 months in prison and fines reaching $1,000 for a first offense. This potential prison sentence only gets longer as your criminal history grows. The more extensive your history, the more time you are looking to serve.
Ref: Mass. Gen Laws Ch 266 Sec 30A
In addition to criminal penalties, the store owner you are accused of shoplifting from has a right to seek damages for more than what you stole. In most cases they can recover more than $500 beyond the initial value of the theft.
A local Massachusetts criminal defense lawyer has handled many shoplifting cases before. They know the penalties you are facing and the stress you are under because of it. They know you need someone on your side with your best interests in mind.
If you’ve been charged with shoplifting in Massachusetts, let us put you in touch with a local defense attorney as soon as possible. They can offer you a free consultation on your case and some potentially valuable advice.