What is shoplifting?
When it comes to shoplifting most have associations directly with the very removal of goods from the store. In fact, in a legitimate sense, this concept has broader aspects. Shoplifting laws in Massachusetts also include hiding goods, replacing or removing price tags, and taking shopping trolleys out of the store. If you opened a product in the store itself, for example, groceries or used a pregnancy test in the store's toilet, if caught, you will also have to carry responsibility. You say there is no evidence, no crime. But in Massachusetts, a statement or accusation from a store employee is enough, and then the police will make it clearer.
Massachusetts shoplifting penalties
In many states of America, the law divides theft into misdemeanors of different degrees and criminal offenses. In Massachusetts, shoplifting laws work differently. The level of responsibility is assigned depending on the value and type of the stolen property, and in some cases, the age of the victim. Special rules apply if the victim of the theft is elderly. So, let's take a closer look at the specifics of state laws:
· According to the value of the property. If the value of the stolen property is $ 250 or less, the defendant receives a prison sentence of up to one year or a fine of no more than $ 300. This crime is considered petty theft. If the stolen property is worth more than $ 250, the theft receives a maximum of five years in prison or a fine of not more than $ 25,000 and imprisonment for up to two years.
· According to the type of property. According to Massachusetts shoplifting laws, if the stolen property is weapon, the offender is punished by up to 5 years in prison or a fine of up to $ 25,000 and up to two years in prison. As for the theft of goods worth up to $ 100, in the event of the first violation, a fine of up to $ 250 will have to be paid.
· According to the type of the victim. If a person over 65 is the victim of shoplifting, the offender will receive a sentence of imprisonment in a state prison for not more than five years or imprisonment for not more than two and a half years.
Shoplifting of goods worth up to $ 100
In the event of the first violation, the shoplifter is obliged to pay a fine of up to $ 250 for stolen goods worth up to $ 100. For the second violation - a fine of up to $ 500. In the case of the third violation, the thief will have to serve a prison term of up to 2 years.
Civil liability for shoplifting in Massachusetts
In addition to legal liability, the person who committed the theft bears civil liability to the store owner. The owner must be reimbursed for damages of at least $ 50 and no more than $ 500 in excess of actual damages.
Hire a lawyer!
Having relatively minor thefts, the accused often decides to defend himself in court without a lawyer. In any case, it is better to apply for defense. The lawyer knows all the nuances of shoplifting laws in Massachusetts. A court decision can be an unexpected sentence with a lifelong imprint. In turn, a lawyer will be able to protect your legal rights and will do everything possible to ensure the minimum punishment for your crime.
Admission of guilt
They say that very often in committing thefts by minors the court wants not to punish, but to re-educate the criminal. In the case of children, this works. However, if you are already a mature person, admitting guilt is not the best option. Only if you and a lawyer have tried all possible ways to qualify the severity of the punishment, the last option is an admission of guilt. Do not rush to admit guilt; the lawyer will let you know about the best ways out of your particular situation.