Shoplifting

Woman Shoplifting

This is a crime that, unfortunately, a lot of people don't think is that serious. While true that on the scale of things Shoplifting isn't the worst of crimes, a conviction on this charge does bring considerable consequences in terms of a criminal offense record.

The statue that governs this crime is Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 266 Chapter 30A. The vast majority of people think that shoplifting involves going into a store or business of some kind, concealing merchandise on your person (in a pocket, underneath your clothes, etc.,) and taking the merchandise outside the store. While that example is an easy one, several other actions can constitute "shoplifting" under this statute. Here's a partial list: Concealing merchandise, removing a price tag or a product label, transferring merchandise from one container to another, and even taking a shopping cart from a store's premises. Even eating food taken from the store while shopping can constitute shoplifting. Also, despite what a lot of people think, it isn't even necessary that a person actually leave a store with concealed goods in order to be arrested for shoplifting. Under Massachusetts law, if a person conceals goods in a store while intending to steal them later, that is sufficient to constitute shoplifting in Massachusetts.

As to what kind of evidence is needed before a person can be arrested by police for shoplifting, all that is needed is "probable cause." This is the lowest standard of evidence in the law, and all that is needed by police to make an arrest, is a statement or accusation from a store employee that the accused person has shoplifted. That's all.

Penalties for Shoplifting

Shoplifting can be categorized as Petty Theft or Grand Theft, and the offense can be classified as a misdemeanor or a felony. The punishment for this offense varies depending on the value of the property that is stolen, and depending on whether the defendant has a prior criminal record. If the value of the items is less than $100, then a first offense conviction is usually punished by a fine of $250. A fine of $500 accompanies a conviction or guilty plea on a second offense (again, assuming the items stolen are worth less than $100.) If, however, the items that are stolen are worth $100 or more, then a first offense can be punished by a sentence of up to 2 years in a county jail, a fine of up to $1,000, or both the jail sentence and the fine. Prosecutors are given discretion in deciding how to charge these cases when the total value of the stolen items is equal to or more than $100: Under these circumstances, they can charge the defendant under either the larceny statute or the shoplifting statute. A defense lawyer who is skilled in handling these types of cases can usually either defeat these charges, or at a minimum obtain the lightest penalty possible.

Massachusetts Shoplifting Defense Lawyer: (781) 320-0062 or (617) 285-3600

Attorney William D. Kickham is a Massachusetts criminal defense lawyer who has very successfully defended a variety of shoplifting offenses. Anyone charged with this offense, or any Massachusetts theft crime, should have an experienced defense attorney at his or her side. Don't make the mistake of thinking that a shoplifting charge is "no big deal." While it may not be the worst of criminal offenses, a conviction will result in a criminal record - and that can seriously harm a person's future. The smartest way to avoid this result is to retain a Massachusetts theft crimes lawyer who knows how to either reduce or dismiss this charge, or secure an acquittal at a trial. Attorney William D. Kickham knows how to secure the best outcome possible in representing his clients. Almost 20 years of criminal defense experience has produced that expertise. Attorney Kickham devotes his personal attention to each case he accepts, and this approach produces superior results for his clients. If you or someone you know has been accused or arrested for shoplifting 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 contact us by email for a free initial consultation.

Partial List of Client Reviews

PLEASE NOTE: TO PROTECT OUR CLIENTS’ PRIVACY, TESTIMONIALS CAN ONLY DISPLAY A CLIENT’S FIRST AND LAST INITIALS.

  • ★★★★★
    When I was arrested for DUI, I was absolutely terrified. Had it not been for you, I might have been convicted of something I was not at all guilty of. My work life, my family life, my reputation, all could have been destroyed. You stood by me like the legal version of a bodyguard - and because of you, I was found not guilty.
  • ★★★★★
    When we got the call that our son had been arrested and charged with rape, we almost fainted. We know our son. He is not violent; he has never abused anyone, let alone another girl… If not for you and your "take no prisoners" attitude, our son might have been convicted of a crime that would have sent him to state prison. As far as we're concerned, our son owes you his life, and we owe you the world. We will never forget you.
  • ★★★★★
    I hired Mr. William D. Kickham for a very important legal issue and I was extremely satisfied by the results. His in depth knowledge about the matter and his intelligent thinking was extremely beneficial. He is really an expert. He was also very supportive and sensitive towards my concerns. It was great to have a lawyer of his capacity. Thanks William for all the Help.
  • ★★★★★
    Atty. Kickham defended me on a charge of raping my girlfriend, who made up the whole story out of revenge because I was interested in someone else. If it weren’t for Attorney Kickham proving me innocent, God knows what might have happened to me.
  • ★★★★★
    Mr. Kickham represented me on a trumped-up charge of domestic violence. The prosecutor and police wouldn’t back down, even after my spouse told them it was all untrue. They insisted on taking me to trial, and Mr. Kickham never wavered. He was my legal bodyguard, and I was found not guilty.
  • ★★★★★
    Of the many talents Atty. Kickham has, two are these: 1) He is ten times as persuasive as the best lawyer you’ve seen in the movies; and 2) Nothing - but nothing - gets by him. The police arrested me on completely false drug charges, and after a heated courtroom battle, Atty. Kickham won the day. Trust me, it was no surprise.
  • ★★★★★
    Because I mildly disciplined my child for throwing a tantrum, I was actually charged with child abuse. It was horrifying. Atty. Kickham fought for me tooth and nail, until I was declared not guilty. One hell of a lawyer.
  • ★★★★★
    I complimented a co-worker on her looks and patted her on the back as I did so. Two hours later, the police showed up and accused me of indecent assault & battery. From the day I hired him, Atty. Kickham fought the DA’s office until the charges were dropped. If not for him, my life would have been ruined.
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