Massachusetts statutes and common law have established a multitude of theft crimes for which people can be charged. The penalties for violating these laws vary depending on the crime itself, the criminal record of the person charged with having committed the crime, the recommendation of the prosecutor and the judge imposing the sentence. That is why it is critical that if you have been charged with a theft crime in Massachusetts, you hire a lawyer who has the experience and reputation of Kathleen McCarthy. Attorney McCarthy has successfully handled hundreds of criminal cases, many of which are categorized as theft crimes such as:
- Armed Burglary
- Unarmed Burglary
- Breaking and Entering in the Nighttime
- Breaking and Entering a Building or a Vehicle
- Entering Without Breaking
- Breaking and Entering Into a Dwelling House
- Larceny by False Pretenses
- Drawing or Uttering Fraudulent Checks
- Identity Fraud
- Common and Notorious Thief
- Possession of Burglarious Tools or Instruments
- Receiving Stolen Property
- Insurance Fraud
I was stopped and questioned by store security as I was leaving a large retail store in the mall. A store employee questioned me about merchandise that they claimed I did not pay for. The police were called but I was not arrested. Do I have anything to worry about?
Often times, store employees approach an individual that is suspected of shoplifting or stealing. The person is sometimes separated from anyone he or she is with and taken to a room for interrogation. Although someone is not required to speak in this situation, they often do. It is important to keep in mind that store security personnel are under no obligation to honor the constitutional rights of a citizen because they are not law enforcement. Although security personnel often appear to be “official”—they are not considered an arm of the government and are not an arm of “law enforcement” for litigation purposes. Thus, in the event that any incriminating statements are made during this type of interview, the information will likely be admissible in court against the detainee. It is usually best not to engage in conversations with any store employee or police officer if you find yourself in this type of situation. Additionally, don’t sign anything! Security personnel may ask you to sign documents assuring that by doing so everything will be okay. It will not. They are having your sign a confession. Don’t sign anything without consulting a lawyer.
If the security personnel conclude that the detainee has shoplifted any items from the store, the local police is usually called. If the value of the merchandise is very high the person may be arrested. However, usually the individual is released and summonsed to the local court for a clerk’s hearing on a charge of shoplifting or larceny at a later date.
I was summonsed to court for arraignment on a criminal complaint claiming that I stole money from my employer. Should I call them and try to work things out before court?
No. There are a number of reasons why this is not a good idea. Often times the employer makes promises that he or she is not planning on keeping in order to get a confession. Individuals in this position often admit to offenses that they did not commit because they think that it will save their job. This is not true. Usually, once an admission is made, the police are called and you will land in court. Simply stated, do not talk. Contact an attorney immediately.
This is the first time I had to go to court for anything. Am I going to jail?
It is very unlikely for a person to be sentenced to jail time for a first offense. In fact, in most circumstances an experienced lawyer will be able to prevent a client from having a criminal conviction entered on his or her record. Most defendants in district court do not land in jail because of the initial charge. They end up incarcerated because they do not successfully complete a probationary period. Thus, if you receive any type of disposition that requires you to attend classes, counseling, or pay restitution or fines, it is important to fulfill these requirements.Hire An Aggressive Massachusetts Criminal Lawyer
Top criminal defense attorneys in Massachusetts skilled in defending theft crimes will be able to resolve your case through plea bargaining, trial or motions requesting a dismissal of your case or a reduction of the charges. Given the vast array of potential theft crimes charges, it is critical that you engage someone to protect your rights who has years of experience and a successful track record defending such cases. Kathleen McCarthy is a Boston Criminal Attorney who has the reputation and competence to handle your case.
If you have been charged with one of these crimes or any Massachusetts Theft Crime you should contact Attorney McCarthy's office now. She will immediately begin the defense process and ensure that your rights are protected.