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Massachusetts Larceny From the Person Lawyer

If you are charged with Larceny From the Person it is important that you reach out to an experienced Massachusetts criminal defense attorney to help you craft a defense strategy for your case.  Larceny From the Person is a felony offense in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.  It is a serious charge that has the potential consequences of going to jail, facing probation, potential fines and fees and a criminal conviction. Attorney David Ellison is a Massachusetts criminal defense lawyer, who has represent many clients throughout his career on Larceny from the Person charges. 

What are the Penalties for Larceny From The Person?

  • up to 2 and a half years in the House of Correction (county jail)
  • up to 5 years in State Prison
  • Possible Felony Conviction
  • Possible Probation
  • Fines and Fees

What are the Elements of Larceny From The Person?

In order to prove Larceny From the Person, the prosecution has to prove you did the following four things:

  1. that you took and carried away the property;
  2. that the property was owned or possessed by someone other than you;
  3. that you took the property from the person of someone who owned or possessed it or from such a person's area of control in his or her presence;
  4. that you did so with the intent to deprive that person of the property permanently.

What are Some Defenses to Larceny From The Person? 

There are many different defenses to Massachusetts Larceny From the Person and each case requires a unique defense. However, some common defenses to Larceny From the Person are the following:

  • It Never Happened
  • The property belongs to you
  • You had permission to move the property
  • You did not mean to deprive the person permanently of the property

What are Some Laws for Larceny From the Person? 

Larceny From the Person comes from Massachusetts General Laws chapter 266 section 25(b), which states “Whoever commits larceny by stealing from the person of another shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for not more than five years or in jail for not more than two and one-half years.”

Commonwealth v. Glowacki, 398 Mass. 507, 514, 499 N.E.2d 290, 294 (1986) (larceny from the person is lesser included offense of robbery).

Commonwealth v. Stewart, 365 Mass. 99, 108, 309 N.E.2d 470, 476 (1974) (in robbery prosecution, element of larceny "from the person" includes the common law concept of larceny in the victim's presence).

Commonwealth v. Jones, 362 Mass. 83, 86-87, 283 N.E.2d 840, 843-844 (1972) (same; offense distinguished from robbery by absence of use or threat of force).

Commonwealth v. Subilosky, 352 Mass. 153, 166, 224 N.E.2d 197, 206 (1967) (property need only be taken from victim's area of control in his presence; here, theft from cash drawers supervised by bank manager).

Commonwealth v. Cline, 213 Mass. 225, 225-226, 100 N.E. 358, 359 (1913) (unnecessary to allege victim's name or to allege description or value of property).

Commonwealth v. Luckis, 99 Mass. 431, 433 (1868) (wallet need not be removed from victim's pocket, but defendant “must for an instant at least have had perfect control of the property”).

Commonwealth v. Burke, 12 Allen 182, 183 (1866) (value of property is not an element).

Commonwealth v. McDonald, 5 Cush. 365, 367 (1850) (putting hand into empty pocket will support conviction for attempted larceny from person).

Commonwealth v. Diamond, 5 Cush. 235, 237-238 (1849) (offense may be committed by fraud rather than stealth).

An ordinary pickpocketing usually is a larceny from the person rather than an unarmed robbery, even if the victim realizes what is happening, because no intimidation is involved and the “force” utilized is not the kind of violence necessary for robbery. Commonwealth v. Davis, 7 Mass. App. Ct. 9, 11, 385 N.E.2d 278, 279-280 (1979).

But a purse snatching of which the victim is aware involves sufficient force to constitute robbery, even if done so quickly as to deny the victim any opportunity to resist. Jones, 362 Mass. at 88-89, 283 N.E.2d at 844-845.

The same is true of rolling a drunk. Commonwealth v. Smith, 21 Mass. App. Ct. 619, 623-624, 489 N.E.2d 203, 205-206 (1986), aff'd, 400 Mass. 1002, 508 N.E.2d 598 (1987).

Larceny from the person of a victim who is 65 years or older (G.L. c. 266, § 25[a]) is an aggravated form of this offense.  The jury may consider the victim's physical appearance as one factor in determining age, but appearance alone is not sufficient evidence of age unless the victim is of “a marked extreme” age, since “[e]xcept at the poles, judging age on physical appearance is a guess . . . .” Commonwealth v. Pittman, 25 Mass. App. Ct. 25, 28, 514 N.E.2d 857, 859 (1987).

If you or a loved one are charged with Larceny From the Person and are in need of a Massachusetts Larceny From the Person attorney, please contact Massachusetts Criminal Defense Attorney David Ellison today at 401-230-5520.

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When you hire Attorney David Ellison, not only are you getting a skilled, experienced, and aggressive lawyer in your corner, but you're getting a lawyer who understands the importance of empathy, honesty, and trustworthiness. Attorney Ellison is a lawyer who loves to advocate for you.

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