Criminal charges involving the theft of property are serious. If convicted, a defendant could face extensive time behind bars and other penalties that may affect the course of his or her life. Many consider larceny basic theft, which is taking property without using force. You would be wise to take any type of property crime case seriously.
The first thing to consider when facing theft or larceny charges is to learn more about what you are up against. When you understand the charges against you, you will be in a better position to protect yourself and shield your interests with a carefully developed defense strategy. Any possibility of a permanent mark on your criminal record or criminal penalties is a threat to your long-term interests and opportunities.
Conviction of larceny
In a larceny case, there are four elements that must be present. The burden of proof lies with the prosecution, and there must be clear evidence of the following in order to obtain a conviction for this type of crime:
- There is proof of unlawful taking of property and carrying it away.
- The stolen property belongs to someone else.
- The individual who took the property did not have permission to do so.
- The intent of taking the property was to permanently deprive the owner of it.
First, the prosecution must be able to prove you allegedly took this property without permission. There are situations, such as during a lawful repossession process, when it is not necessary to take another person’s property. It must be clear that you intended to steal the item and that the owner did not know or want you to do so. It is extremely difficult to prove beyond a reasonable doubt the intentions of a defendant.
Property crimes may not seem like a serious offense, especially in cases that lack a criminal element. In reality, any criminal charge presents the possibility of certain penalties and consequences that could impact you long-term.
It may be in your interests to learn about what Massachusetts law says about larceny and what you can do to protect your interests if charged with this crime. You have the right to a presumption of innocence and to present a strong defense against any evidence brought by the prosecution against you.