What is Larceny from the Person?
In Massachusetts we define larceny, or stealing, in different ways. For example, M.G.L. c. 266, § 25(b) is the statute for Larceny from the Person, or the wrongful and permanent taking of personal property from the person of another.
This blog post will answer several questions on the criminal offense of larceny from the person.
What does the law say?
The law says that Larceny from the Person is the wrongful taking of personal property from the person of another, or from the immediate area of control of another, with the intent to deprive that person of the property permanently.
Larceny from the Person is not the same crime as larceny by check or larceny by stealing.
How does someone commit this crime?
In order to prove someone guilty of Larceny from the Person, the Commonwealth must prove the following four elements of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt:
- That the defendant took and carried away property
- The property owned or possessed by someone other than the defendant
- That the defendant took the property from the person of someone
- The defendant did so with the intent to deprive that person of the property permanently
Is pickpocketing or taking a purse Larceny from the Person?
An ordinary pickpocketing usually is stealing from the person rather than an unarmed robbery; even if the victim realizes what is happening. No intimidation is involved and the “force” utilized is not the kind of violence necessary for robbery.
Snatching a purse is considered to be robbery, even if it is done so quickly.
Does the value of the stolen property matter?
No, unlike general stealing offenses, whether or not the stolen property is worth more or less than $250 does not impact the punishment.
Is the punishment worse when you steal from an elderly person?
Yes, theft from the person of a victim who is 65 years or older is an aggravated form of stealing from the person.
Juries may consider the victim’s physical appearance as one factor in determining his or her age. However, appearance alone is not enough evidence of age unless the victim is of “a marked extreme” age since, generally speaking, judging on age or physical appearance is guesswork.
IF YOU OR A LOVED ONE HAVE BEEN CHARGED WITH LARCENY FROM THE PERSON, AND YOU NEED AN EXPERIENCED CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAWYER WORKING ON YOUR SIDE TO PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS, PLEASE CONTACT CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY WILLIAM J. BARABINO.
CALL 781-393-5900 TO LEARN MORE ABOUT YOUR AVAILABLE DEFENSES.