Maybe you took something as a dare, or because you really needed it, or perhaps it was an accident or a misunderstanding.
Regardless of the reason, the store caught you and has accused you of shoplifting. This is not just an embarrassing situation; it could affect your future in ways you cannot imagine.
Even if this is your first offense, you could face substantial fines and even prison time, depending on the value of the shoplifted item or items. You will also have a criminal record that will follow you for the rest of your life. And, if you are not an American citizen, you could even be deported.
But right now, you are only charged. You have yet to be convicted, and as such, you have options, and can minimise the effect that this charge will have on your future.
Seek Legal Support for Your Shoplifting Charge
At The Law Offices of Elliot Savitz, Scott Bradley & Kenneth Diesenhof, we have represented hundreds of clients accused of shoplifting and we have been able to get many of the charges dismissed prior to arraignment, so that they never appear on your record. Most often, the charges can be dismissed at a Clerk’s Hearing (Show Cause), or at other times by the District Attorney or police prosecutor in front of a judge.
Having the right attorney by your side, even before your arraignment, can help you preserve your reputation and guarantee you the best result possible.
Massachusetts Penalties for Shoplifting
Charges vary under Massachusetts law depending on the value of the goods and the number of prior offenses. For shoplifting items valued at less than $100, the penalties are:
- Up to a $250 fine for a first offense;
- Up to a $500 fine for a second offense;
- Imprisonment of up to 2 years for a third offense.
For items valued over $100, the penalties are:
- Up to a $1000 fine and 2 ½ years in prison for a first offense;
- Second and third offenses can vary but are much more serious.
- In addition, the merchant can seek an additional $500 above the value of the shoplifted item.
Whether it was a big misunderstanding, or just a short-sighted mistake, contact The Law Offices of Elliot Savitz, Scott Bradley & Kenneth Diesenhof at, (781) 619-3147 for a FREE, NO OBLIGATION, CONSULTATION.