Shoplifting

Many people do not appreciate how serious shoplifting can be. To some, it might seem like a prank, something daring, or a challenge to authority, but a shoplifting charge can have a real impact on one’s future. Shoplifting is a crime under Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 266 Section 30A. Under the law, shoplifting can take different forms. For example, it might involve switching a price tag on a piece of merchandise or putting something in a different box or container, removing a cart, or concealing merchandise.

Shoplifting involves the following three elements that a prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt:

  1. The defendant intentionally carried away, took possession of, transferred, or caused to be transferred or carried away merchandise.
  2. Someone other than the defendant owned or possessed that merchandise.
  3. The defendant acted with the intent to deprive the merchant of use, benefit, or possession or with the intent to convert the property to his or her own use without paying for it.

Shoplifting by concealing merchandise involves the following three elements:

  1. The defendant concealed merchandise in some area under his or her control.
  2. Someone other than the defendant owned or possessed the merchandise.
  3. The defendant acted with the intent to deprive the merchant of use, benefit, or possession or with the intent to convert the property to his or her own use without paying for it.

Shoplifting by switching a price tag involves the following four elements:

  1. A price tag or some other marking contained the price of merchandise possessed or owned by someone other than the defendant.
  2. The defendant intentionally removed, changed, or transferred the price tag.
  3. The defendant tried to purchase the merchandise at less than full price.
  4. The defendant intended to deprive the merchant of some portion of the retail value.

Shoplifting by switching containers and shoplifting by ringing up a false price are similar to shoplifting by switching a price tag. The former involves transferring merchandise from one container to another with an intent to deprive a merchant of the full retail price, and the latter involves intentionally ringing up a price that is less than the retail price with the intent to deprive the merchant of full price.

Massachusetts Theft Crimes Attorney: (617) 973 5858

If you have been charged with shoplifting, call the Law Office of Robert J. Wheeler, Jr. at (617) 973-5858 or contact Attorney Wheeler by e-mail. With more than 30 years of experience in criminal defense, Attorney Wheeler can provide you with the best representation possible.