There are many different possible punishments, depending on which type of larceny you are charged with. However, for a simple first-offense misdemeanor larceny (general property has a value under $1,200), the maximum punishment would be two years in the house of correction. For larceny of property having a value of greater than $1,200, the maximum penalty is up to five years in State Prison for a first offense. In reality, unless your past record is particularly bad or the facts of your case are heinous in nature, it is unlikely you would receive the maximum penalty. A more common sentence for someone with a no criminal record or a minor record would be some type of deferred adjudication – also known as a Continuance Without a Finding or “CWOF” – probation or a suspended sentence.

What Kind of Effects Can Prior Larceny Convictions Have on a Pending Larceny Case?

If you have been previously convicted of larceny, there are enhanced penalties for doing it again, which are also called a subsequent offense. The particular statute, or law, for each type of larceny will spell out exactly what you may be facing for committing a second or subsequent offense.

Are There Civil Penalties Involved in Shoplifting or Larceny Cases?

Yes. Certainly, anyone from whom you steal can sue you civilly to obtain the money or value of the property and for certain other expenses related to the civil lawsuit. However, Massachusetts also has a separate law concerning shoplifting. This law allows the store to make civil demands upon shoplifter. These demands can be for certain amounts up to $1,000. This demand is penal in nature, meaning that it is meant as a punishment. The amount sought has no relation to whether the store got its property back and it has little to do with the value of the property taken. Keep in mind that these are civil penalties which have no bearing on whether you are charged criminally or what would happen in a criminal case. You can both be charged and receive a civil demand letter from the store.

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