Larceny of Leased or Rented Property

Rental Agreement

If someone leases or rents personal property from someone else, then does not return that property at the end of the lease or rental period, that constitutes the crime of larceny of leased or rented property.

This crime is defined by Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 266 Section 87. For the prosecution to secure a conviction on a charge of larceny of leased or rented property, the Commonwealth must prove the following three elements of this crime beyond a reasonable doubt:

  • First, the defendant did in fact lease or rent the personal property of another person;
  • Second, the defendant concealed or hid the rented property (either all of it or a portion of it,) or assisted or abetted in concealing or hiding the property, or refused or failed to return the property to its rightful owner within 10 days following the expiration of the rental agreement or lease, or that the defendant sold, transferred or otherwise conveyed the property to someone else without securing the consent of the true owner;
  • Third, the defendant engaged in these acts with the intent to place the property outside the control of its true owner.

As to the second element above, "aiding or abetting" covers any assistance provided to the defendant, whether provided through words or other acts of assistance or encouragement. If the prosecution can prove the above three elements beyond a reasonable doubt, then a conviction will result. As far as the important element of intent is concerned, if the defendant presented false or fraudulent information in order to rent or lease the property, this will constitute "prima facie" evidence of an intent to take the property outside the control of its true owner.

More than one defense is available to this charge, including that the defendant was not aware that the rented property was owned by another person. Another defense might be available if the surrounding facts support a claim by the defendant that he or she had the legal right to either receive, dispose of, or transfer the property.

Penalties for Larceny of Leased or Rented Property

A defendant convicted of larceny of leased or rented property can receive a punishment of up to one year in a county jail, and/or a fine of up to $1,000. In addition to any jail term or fine, the defendant will be ordered to make full restitution to the victim for any financial losses suffered.

Hire The Right Lawyer, Not The Cheapest One.

The above defenses constitute only a partial sample of legal strategies that a talented Massachusetts theft crimes lawyer can use in your defense. Various motions to either dismiss the charges or suppress evidence that was unlawfully obtained may also be used. Our office has almost twenty years' experience in defending cases of this type, and our impressive track record demonstrates the results we can produce. If you or someone you know has been charged with larceny of leased or rented property, or any other Massachusetts theft crime, call us 24 hours a day, seven days a week at either Ph.: (781) 320-0062 or Ph.: (617) 285-3600, or email us for a free initial consultation.

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