12 Feb How to deal with the criminal charge of shoplifting or larceny over $250 in Massachusetts courts
I have had many clients who have been charged with stealing items from a store.
If the items are valued over $250 the charge can take the form of a felony
larceny over $250. Shoplifting is a misdemeanor charge and is usually issued for
Items which add up to less than $250.
A person can be either arrested for shoplifting or larceny at the scene or
taken to be processed at the police station and then to the court for
arraignment on the charge. Another way the case can be brought forward is by the
client being released at the scene and told that they will receive a summons in
the mail for a clerk magistrates hearing. A clerk magistrate hearing is where
a clerk of the court will listen to an officer under oath read from a police
report summarizing the facts of the event and decide whether a criminal charge
should be issued. The level of proof is very low merely probable cause has to be
filed that a crime was committed, it is not a trial and charges can be issued
very easily based on a summary given from a police report. As a criminal defense
attorney in Boston I have had great success and convincing a clerk magistrate to
not bring a charge against my client. A client with no criminal record who
otherwise appears to live law abiding life gives me some great arguments to get
to the clerk as to why the charge should not be brought against a client.
Boston has many university students I have represented many students at clerk
magistrates’ hearings who have no criminal record and appeared to have a bright
future ahead of them but made a complete lack of judgment and stool items from
the store. The clerk magistrate has the ability to either issue a case or to
consider taking it under advisement which is to hold onto it without issuing any
charges at this time to give a person an opportunity to prove that this was a
one time lapse in judgment and not a common practice to steal.
University students Who are in Boston as foreign exchange students or as a
citizen of another country here on any type of visa face a greater harm by
risking either deportation or inadmissibility back into the US if they leave
based on criminal charges. I have dealt with many non-US citizen clients who
have put themselves in grave situations facing deportation which would in effect
and their college careers because of a silly lapse in judgment which led to a
felony charge. If you are non-US citizen you must take any criminal charge very
seriously in that it would potentially lead to deportation or inadmissibility
in the future.
Immigration and the criminal courts are separate, immigration and customs
enforcement known as ice is a part of homeland security, whereas the Boston
courts are a state entity. Immigration does work closely with criminal court’s
to see if any non-US citizens have committed crimes which make them either
deportable or inadmissible.
As a Boston criminal defense attorney Frank Fernandez as represented many clients
charged with shoplifting and larceny over $250 with great results. Attorney
Fernandez has represented clients in Boston Municipal Court, Quincy Court,
Dedham District Court, Brighton District Court, as well as in Norfolk, Worcester, Plymouth and Middlesex Counties. If you were facing a criminal charge of shoplifting call for free consultation 617-393-0250.