Boston Shoplifting Representation
Shoplifting. The crime does not seem that serious. Many teens shoplift as a joke to see if they can get away with it. Many times shoplifting is committed by those with substance abuse problems and sometimes people shoplift inadvertently because they leave a store and forget they have a piece of merchandise in their hand.
Regardless of the situation, shoplifting, although it sounds harmless, can prove to be a very serious matter in a court of law. Shoplifting offenses can tarnish a person’s reputation in the community, affect their ability to gain lawful employment, and taint their criminal record.
More and more store owners, managers, and property owners are taking a more active role in pursuing charges against shoplifters. They are seeking tougher penalties and are frequently active witnesses. As active witnesses and victims, they are entitled to statements that can have extremely adverse effects in the sentencing of a criminal case. Furthermore, their testimony at trial can play a key role in whether or not an offender is found guilty or not guilty.
Massachusetts defines shop lifting in M.G.L. c 266 s 30A.
In order to convict a defendant of shop lifting, the Commonwealth must prove each of the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:
- The Commonwealth must prove that the defendant intentionally took possession of, carried away, or transferred, or cause to be transferred or carried away, the merchandise;
- That the merchandise was owned or possession by someone other than the defendant; and
- That the defendant executed the first element of this offense with the intent to deprive the merchant of its possession use or benefit, or to covert the merchandise to his/her own use without paying for it.
As noted above, intent is the key term in this offense. The Commonwealth must show that the offender INTENDED to permanently deprive the store of its merchandise. And they must prove intent beyond reasonable doubt. With our firm’s representation you can rest assured that we will either place that reasonable doubt in the jury’s mind, negotiate with the Commonwealth for a possible dismissal, or lobby on your behalf for pre-trial probation or a continuance without a finding.
If you have been arrested for a shoplifting offense, it is imperative that you seek legal representation like the skilled criminal defense lawyers at Kelly & Soto Law. Call us today to speak with one of our Shoplifting Defense Lawyers.