Larceny by Stealing

Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 266 Section 30 is the statute that defines the criminal offense of larceny in our Commonwealth. Larceny by stealing has the same elements as common law larceny, as it is the trespassory taking and carrying away of the personal property of someone else with the intent to steal.

“Trespassory” means that the taking was wrongful, and “taking” means that the defendant gained possession of the property. The law also requires that there be a “carrying away” of the other person’s property, and this element can be satisfied by even a very slight movement, such as placing an item from a retail store into a pocketbook. An “intent to steal” is an intent to deprive the owner of the property permanently. The intent to steal element is important because, for example, if a person simply intended to borrow something without permission, he/she cannot be convicted of larceny. This intent element is usually inferred from the circumstances.


If the value of the stolen property is more than $250, then the potential punishment for larceny is up to 5 years in state prison or up to 2 years in jail and/or a fine of up to $25,000. This is called “grand larceny,” and it is a felony. If the value of the property is less than or equal to $250, then the maximum potential punishment is a fine of up to $300 or up to a year in jail. This is called “petty larceny” or “petit larceny,” and it is a misdemeanor. A skilled criminal defense attorney will usually be able to resolve larceny cases by negotiating with the prosecutor or judge.

Massachusetts Larceny Defense Lawyer: (617) 973 5858

Contact the Law Office of Robert J. Wheeler Jr. if you have been charged with larceny in Massachusetts. Attorney Wheeler will make use of his decades of experience in criminal defense and achieve the best result for you. He is recognized as one of the foremost defense lawyers in Massachusetts, and his background is proof of his rare talent. Attorney Wheeler’s defense strategy is no holds barred, and he works determinedly for every client. Whether handling a misdemeanor or a felony, Attorney Wheeler’s hard-hitting approach is the same. Call the Law Office of Robert J. Wheeler Jr. at (617) 973 5858 or contact him by sending an e-mail. He will provide a free and confidential initial consultation.