Dedham Larceny Crimes Lawyer

Boston Theft Crimes Attorney

Massachusetts criminal law provides for several crimes involving wrongfully taking the property of another person. These crimes vary in severity but can carry lengthy prison sentences under some circumstances.


Theft, or larceny as it is called under the Massachusetts Criminal Code, is the most basic of larceny crimes. Larceny is simply the intentional taking and carrying away of property belonging to another. The perpetrator can accomplish this in any of several ways:

  • Simply carrying away unguarded property
  • Deceiving someone into willingly handing over property
  • Misappropriating property rightfully entrusted to the perpetrator, often called embezzlement

If a person does so intending to permanently deprive the owner of that property, that person has committed larceny. If the property in question is a firearm or is worth more than $250, he or she may serve up to a five-year sentence in state prison. If the victim is 65 or older, the maximum sentence increases to ten years. Otherwise, the maximum sentence is usually one year.

Criminal fraud and embezzlement

Embezzlement occurs when a person entrusted with property wrongfully takes that property for himself or herself. While criminal law normally treats fraud and embezzlement as larceny, more severe sentences exist for certain individuals who commit these crimes:

  • Employees of the Massachusetts Treasury who defraud or embezzle from the treasury—up to life in prison
  • County, city, or town officers who defraud or embezzle from their county, city, or town—up to ten years in prison
  • Bank officers or employees who defraud or embezzle from their bank—up to 15 years in prison


Forgery is the falsifying, counterfeiting, or altering a document of legal significance. These documents include promissory notes, deeds, wills, credit cards, and traveler's checks. If a person intentionally falsifies a document in order to injure or defraud another, that person has committed forgery. Forgery carries a maximum sentence of ten years in state prison. Forging admission tickets, such as to a concert or sporting event, carries a maximum sentence of three years.

Identity theft

Identity theft is the knowing use of identity information belonging to another or obtaining such information for that purpose. Identity theft carries a maximum sentence of two and a half years in jail. The perpetrator must also pay back any financial loss suffered by the victim.

Credit card fraud

The crime of credit card fraud encompasses a wide range of illegal conduct involving a credit card:

  • Lying on a credit card application
  • Buying or selling credit cards
  • Signing a credit card issued to someone else
  • Using a credit card issued to someone else without his or her consent
  • Forging a credit card
  • Knowingly using a forged, stolen, or fraudulently issued credit card

Some types of credit card fraud can carry a maximum sentence of five years in state prison.

A criminal defense lawyer can help

Many fraud and larceny crimes carry serious sentences. Even a conviction of a lesser larceny crime can have serious repercussions on your life. A criminal defense lawyer knows how to defend you if you have been accused of criminal fraud, larceny, or a similar crime.

Contact John E. DeVito, Esq. today

Click here to read Attorney Devito's Larceny Crimes blog posts

If you have been charged with a larceny crime, you need qualified criminal defense attorneys working on your behalf. Mr. DeVito represents clients in Boston, Dedham, Wrentham, Stoughton, Quincy, Waltham, Woburn, Newton, Framingham, Natick and other cities in Middlesex & Norfolk County, MA. For immediate assistance, contact John E. DeVito, Esq. at 508-517-1800 today.