Boston Shoplifting Charges - Defense Attorney Steven Topazio

Shoplifting

Boston Shoplifting Charges Attorney – Massachusetts Shoplifting Lawyer

Shoplifting

Massachusetts Shoplifting Attorney

Shoplifting is a Crime with Serious Consequences

If you are arrested for shoplifting, don’t wait to get help. Shoplifting can be quite serious, depending on whether you are being charged with a misdemeanor or a felony. This will, more often than not, depend on the value of the item stolen. For example, stealing an item worth less than a certain dollar amount is a misdemeanor. Over that amount, the offense is a felony Shoplifting is probably the most commonly committed type of ;theft crime in Massachusetts, and one that is aggressively prosecuted by retailers. Boston criminal defense attorney Steven J. Topazio is not afraid to aggressively defend you if charged.

Shoplifting is defined as taking or intentionally paying less for an item than the sale price. Shoplifting can include carrying, hiding, concealing, or otherwise manipulating merchandise with the intent of taking it or paying less for it; changing price tags, committing refund fraud, removing a shopping cart or any other commercial property from a store location, or intentionally using an illegitimate form of payment.

Defending Against Retail Fraud and Shoplifting Charges

Don’t underestimate a shoplifting charge. In Massachusetts, shoplifters are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, and the offense is viewed as a crime of moral turpitude which will have immigration consequences if you are not a United States citizen. If you have been charged with misdemeanor or felony larceny or shoplifting, having the right criminal defense attorney protecting your rights can make the difference between facing jail time or having your charges dismissed.

Aggressive shoplifting defense in Boston

The taking of a CD from a music store might start off as a joke or prank, but if caught you will be arrested. ;The items taken may be small, but collectively, shoplifting costs the retail industry billions of dollars each year and the losses are passed on to the paying customers. Whether you are a high school student caught shoplifting at a local mall, or a chronic thief with prior retail fraud convictions caught stealing, talk to an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately.

Shoplifting Defense in Massachusetts

Many people assume that because shoplifting is not a serious crime like bank robbery or auto theft, then they do not need to hire a criminal defense attorney to represent them in court. Nothing could be farther from the truth. If you have been charged with shoplifting in Massachusetts, it is to your great advantage to hire an experienced shoplifting defense lawyer to protect your best interest and represent you throughout the legal process. Boston Criminal Defense Attorney Steven J. Topazio can negotiate with both the prosecution and the retailer for a possible reduction or dismissal of your charges.

Contact Shoplifting Defense Attorney Steven J. Topazio

If you have been arrested for shoplifting in Boston, do not put yourself at risk for a criminal conviction. Attorney Topazio can help you fight your charges and avoid a criminal conviction! Boston shoplifting defense lawyer Steven J. Topazio online or call to discuss your case.

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RECENT CASE DECISIONS

Shoplifting M.G.L. c 266 § 120, Trespass M.G.L. c 266 § 30A, Application For Criminal Complaint, All charges dismissed following Clerk Magistrate Hearing.

The client, a 20 year old college graduate from North Shore Community College, hired Boston Criminal Defense Lawyer Steven J. Topazio to represent her at a Clerk Magistrate Hearing when she received a summons for shoplifting and trespass in the mail.  According to Peabody Police, the client was in H&M department store at the Peabody Mall when the client was observed on CCTV and by store security selecting various items then walking out of the store without paying for them.  The security officer approached the client outside of the store and when the client was confronted she ran.  The client’s friends were stopped by the store security and identified the client.  Shortly thereafter the Peabody Police contacted the client’s home looking for the client.  The client voluntarily went to the police station and returned some of the stolen merchandise which she admitted taking.  The client had a criminal record for similar offenses out of the Peabody Mall and had also been trespassed by the Mall.  Attorney Topazio appeared with his client at the Clerk Magistrate Hearing and defended his client.  Attorney Topazio admitted that there was probable cause to charge his client but pointed out mitigating circumstances of cooperating with police in arguing that the charges against his client should be dismissed.  Attorney Topazio persuaded the clerk to dismiss all criminal charges.

June 05, 2014
Boston Municipal Court South Boston Division

Shoplifting MGL c 266 § 120
Malicious Destruction of Property over $250 MGL c 266 § 127
Application for Criminal Complaint
Clerk Magistrate Hearing

The client, a 22 year old restaurant worker hired Boston Criminal Defense Lawyer Steven J. Topazio to represent him at a Clerk Magistrate Hearing.  According to the Boston Police Report, the client was in Marshalls in the South Bay Mall when the client was observed trying to remove the ink security tags from several shirts.  When one of the ink security tags exploded damaging the shirt, the client left the store but was followed by security to his car where other unpaid items were found.  The client also received a civil demand notice from Marshalls demanding the client pay money damages in satisfaction of a potential civil claim.  Attorney Topazio appeared with his client at the Clerk Magistrate Hearing and using the civil demand notice, resolved the case and persuaded the clerk as well as the officer to dismiss all criminal charges.

Result: Case dismissed

July 15, 2013
Natick District Court
1387AC0198
Shoplifting M.G.L. c 266 / 120
Trespass M.G.L. c 266 / 30A
Application For Criminal Complaint
Magistrate Hearing

The client, a 31 year old professional, received a summons for a Magistrate Hearing for shoplifting and trespass in Roche Brothers in Natick, hired Boston Criminal Lawyer Steven J. Topazio to represent him. Attorney Topazio learned that his client had previously been charged with shoplifting in Roche Brothers in the past and given a no trespass order in 2004. Despite the prior shoplifting charge, Attorney Topazio persuaded the Magistrate, who found probable cause to issue the complaint, to hold the complaint for six months on the condition that if the client remain out of trouble during that time, and if he did then all charges would be dismissed.
Result: Complaint not issued but held for six months on condition client stay out of trouble.

May 23, 2013
Milford District Court
Shoplifting MGL c. 266 § 30A
Clerk Magistrate Hearing
Application for Criminal Complaint

A 20 year old college student who received a summons for shoplifting hired Boston Criminal Defense Attorney Steven J. Topazio to represent him. According to the merchant, the client opened packages and concealed the items on his person and tried to leave the store without paying. According to statute, any person who intentionally transfers any merchandise displayed, held, stored or offered for sale by any store or other retail mercantile establishment from the container in or on which the same shall be displayed to any other container with intent to deprive the merchant of all or some part of the retail value thereof shall be guilty of shoplifting. Attorney Topazio met with his client and pointed out that despite being caught and summonsed to court for a Magistrate hearing, his client received a huge break from the police who decided not to arrest him. According to Massachusetts law, Law enforcement officers may arrest without warrant any person he has probable cause for believing has committed the offense of shoplifting as defined by statute. The statement of a merchant or his employee or agent that a person has violated a provision of the shoplifting statute shall constitute probable cause for arrest by any law enforcement officer authorized to make an arrest in such jurisdiction. Today, Attorney Topazio took advantage of this opportunity and convinced the Magistrate, despite the Magistrate’s finding probable cause that his client shoplifted, to hold the complaint for six months on the condition that if his client stay out of trouble the complaint will be dismissed.
Result: Complaint held and to be dismissed in six months provided client stays out of trouble and client’s CORI protected.

March 12, 2013
Boston Municipal Court – Central Division
Docket # 1201CR3548; 1101CR5614
Probation Surrender
Notice of Probation Violation and Hearing
Shoplifting M.G.L. c. 266 § 30A

The client, a 35 year old disabled individual, was on supervised probation out of the Boston Municipal Court when she was arrested for shoplifting from T.J. Maxx, was represented by Boston Criminal Attorney Steven J. Topazio. The client received a Notice of Probation Violation and admitted herself into the Ryan House. The Ryan House is an addiction treatment center located in Lynn, MA. Today, as a result of attending 4-5 daily support groups, attending AA/NA, obtaining a sponsor, providing random urines, Attorney Topazio was able to plea his client to straight probation and stipulate to a violation of probation on the condition that his client maintain her sobriety and complete the Ryan House, and the court agreed.
Result: Client avoids jail and is reprobated provided she maintains her sobriety.

April 27, 2012
Boston Municipal Court Central
Clerk Magistrate Hearing
Application for Criminal Complaint
Shoplifting by Asportation M.G.L. c. 266 § 30A

The client, a 21 year old non citizen in the United States with a student visa, attending Boston Conservatory of Music, immediately hired Attorney Topazio to represent her after she was stopped by police and summonsed to court for a magistrate hearing after being accused of stealing cosmetics from a prominent downtown cosmetics store. The Client is a not a US citizen and was concerned about the possible immigration consequences this charge could cause her. Attorney Topazio explained to his client that a shoplifting charge would be considered a crime of moral turpitude under Federal law which could subject a non US citizen immigrant to suffer deportation consequences. Although not arrested, Attorney Topazio obtained the police report and informed his client that she was fortunate the officer did not arrest her which was the officer’s right when they respond to a dispatch of a shoplifter being detained. According to the shoplifting statute, Law enforcement officers may arrest without warrant any person they have probable cause to believe has committed the offense of shoplifting. All that is needed is a statement from the merchant that a person has shoplifted which is enough to constitute probable cause to arrest. Attorney Topazio pointed out that unless authorized by statute as was the case here, police cannot arrest for misdemeanors not committed in their presence. Today, at the clerk magistrate’s hearing, Attorney Topazio persuaded the Boston Police and the clerk magistrate not to issue the complaint against his Client but to hold the complaint for six months despite hearing enough evidence to find probable cause to issue the complaint. So long as the Client stays out of trouble, the clerk agreed to dismiss the complaint. As a result, the shoplifting charge will never appear on the Client’s CORI nor will it affect her immigration status.
Result: Application for Complaint Dismissed.

April 03, 2012
Boston Municipal Court
Clerk’s Hearing
Application for Criminal Complaint
Magistrate Hearing
Larceny over $250 MGL c. 266 § 30

The Client, a 24 year-old account executive and college graduate, received an application for criminal complaint charging her with the felony offense of Larceny over $250.00, when she walked out of an upscale department store with several women’s tops without paying for them.  The items totaled over $800.00. The police alleged that the alleged theft was caught on the store’s surveillance video cameras. The police further alleged that when searched, the Client was found to be in possession of a pair of metal pliers, which they alleged were burglarious tools. The Client is a not a US citizen and was concerned about the possible immigration consequences this charge could cause her. The Client immediately hired Attorney Steven J. Topazio to represent her. Attorney Topazio explained that any larceny charge, including shoplifting, would be considered a crime of moral turpitude which could subject a non US citizen immigrant to suffer deportation consequences. Today, at the clerk magistrate’s hearing, Attorney Topazio persuaded the police detective and the clerk magistrate not to issue the complaint against his Client. The complaint was not issued and clerk agreed to hold the complaint for one year despite hearing enough evidence to find probable cause to issue the complaint. So long as the Client stays out of trouble, the clerk agreed to dismiss the complaint. As a result, the Larceny charge will never appear on the Client’s CORI or will is affect her immigration status.
Result: Application for Complaint Dismissed.

March 14, 2012
BMC South Boston Division
Docket # 1103CR1380
Shoplifting by Concealing Merchandise M.G.L. c. 266 § 30A
Threat To Commit Crime M.G.L. c. 275 § 2

The client, a 30 year old Computer Software Engineer, was arrested for Shoplifting and Threats, hired Attorney Steven J. Topazio to defend him. According to the police report, the Client stole a bag of shrimp from a local grocery store then made statements allegedly threatening the store security when he was stopped. Attorney Topazio met with his client and learned that he went through the self check-out line and actually purchased other items. Attorney Topazio caused his client to obtain copies of his bank records showing the transaction. Attorney Topazio met with the Assistant District Attorney and argued that merchants who create self-checkout lines for their customers should assist them with these transactions when a problem is detected in lieu of having them arrested. Attorney Topazio was able to persuade the Assistant District Attorney to recommend giving his Client pre-trial probation as a method of resolving the case. Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 276, section 87 allows for the court to place a defendant on probation without admitting to sufficient facts and if that defendant is able to complete probation and abide by all the terms, the defendant is rewarded by having his case dismissed. Today, Attorney Topazio was able to convince the Court to adopt the joint recommendation of 3 months unsupervised pre-trial probation.
Result: After the period of pre-trial probation, the charges will be dismissed provided the Client obeys all state and local laws.

January 27, 2012
Chelsea District Court
Docket # 1114CR2953
Shoplifting by concealing merchandise M.G.L. c. 266 § 30A
Assault and Battery M.G.L. c. 265 § 13A

The client, a 28 year old college graduate and account executive, was arrested after being captured on Market Basket store video surveillance placing several meat products in his pockets. Upon leaving the store, the client ran and was tackled by store security, hired Attorney Topazio. Attorney Topazio learned that his client stole the meat for a college football party he was to have with his employer and when he learned he didn’t have any money to pay for the meat, stole it. Attorney Topazio met with the prosecutor and corroborated his client’s story by providing the prosecutor with the football schedule and argued that a conviction would cause his client to be discharged from his employment. Today, Attorney Topazio convinced the prosecutor to dismiss both charges against his client on twenty-five hours of community service, and the court agreed.
=Result: Case dismissed on community service.

August 31, 2011
Cambridge District Court
Application for Criminal Complaint
Magistrate’s Hearing/Clerk’s Hearing
Larceny Over $250 by False Pretense c 266 § 34

The client, a web developer and Harvard Graduate School student, was contacted by Cambridge Detectives regarding the returning of merchandise to the store Anthropologie for a cash refund for merchandise that wasn’t purchased from the store, hired Boston Criminal Defense Lawyer Steven J. Topazio to represent him. Attorney Topazio instructed his client not to speak with police but contacted and spoke with the investigating detective himself, so as to prevent his client from making any incriminating statements that could be used against him. Attorney Topazio used this opportunity to attempt a resolution of the case and requested that his client not be arrested or charged for the felony charge of larceny over $250 but represented that his client would be amenable to pay restitution, if the case could be resolved without formal felony charges being filed. A defendant is not entitled to Magistrate’s or Clerk’s hearing for a felony charge, only misdemeanor offenses. The detective acknowledged that he wouldn’t charge and arrest his client but would proceed by way of a Magistrate’s or Clerk’s hearing as Attorney Topazio suggested and further would inquire from the store if a settlement short of formal charges issuing would be an acceptable resolution. Today at the Clerk Magistrate’s hearing, Attorney Topazio negotiated a settlement with the prosecuting detective which required that his client would pay restitution within one week without admitting or acknowledging responsibility and the application for complaint would be dismissed, and the Magistrate agreed. Dismissing the application for complaint prior to issuance of the formal complaint also prevents an entry from appearing on his client’s criminal record (CORI).
Result: Application for criminal complaint dismissed on agreement to pay restitution and client avoids a prosecution for a felony charge and an entry on his CORI.

April 08, 2011
Framingham District Court
1087CR0723
Shoplifting by Asportation, M.G.L. c. 266 § 30A
Receiving Stolen Property over $250, M.G.L. c. 266 § 60
The defendant, while at J.C. Penny in the Natick Collection, was arrested for shoplifting when she left the store without paying for several items of clothing. A subsequent search of her motor vehicle by police resulted in the disclosure of other items of clothing from Macys. When the defendant could not produce a receipt for the clothing discovered in her vehicle, she was arrested, hired Attorney Topazio to represent her. Attorney Topazio filed discovery motions for copies of store surveillance videos and tapes of transmissions with the police. Attorney Topazio filed a motion to suppress the evidence discovered in his client’s car alleging the search of the car was illegal and without probable cause or consent and all evidence obtained by the police was the fruit of this wrongful search. Today, prior to an evidentiary hearing, Attorney Topazio convinced the district attorney to dismiss the shoplifting charge on court costs and to reduce the felony receiving stolen property court to the misdemeanor offense of receiving stolen property under $250 in violation of M.G.L. c. 266 § 30, and the court agreed, continuing the mater without a finding for six months.
Result: Shoplifting charge dismissed and felony charge of receiving stolen property reduced to a misdemeanor and continued without a finding for six months.

February 03, 2011
Boston Municipal Court
1001 CR 8725, 1001 CR 8726
Shoplifting by Price Tag Tampering, M.G.L. c. 266 § 30A
The defendants, sister-in-laws who were shopping prior to Christmas, were arrested when captured on video by Filene’s Basement security switching price tags on merchandise valued at $2,200.00 and then paying a lesser price at the cash register of $200.00, hired Boston Criminal Defense Lawyer Steven J. Topazio to represent them. According to statute, any person who intentionally alters, transfers or removes any label, price tag or marking indicia of value or any other markings which aid in determining value affixed to any merchandise displayed, held, stored or offered for sale by any store or other retail mercantile establishment and to attempt to purchase such merchandise personally or in consort with another at less than the full retail value with the intention of depriving the merchant of all or some part of the retail value thereof, and where the retail value of the goods obtained equals or exceeds one hundred dollars, then any violation shall be punished by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars or by imprisonment in the house of correction for not more than two and one-half years, or by both such fine and imprisonment.
Boston Criminal Defense Lawyer Steven J. Topazio contacted the Assistant District Attorney assigned to the case and negotiated a resolution whereby both cases would be dismissed on $500.00 court costs, but would still have to convince the court.
Today, Boston Criminal Defense Lawyer Steven J. Topazio, despite the overwhelming evidence against his clients, argued that the charges against his clients were an aberration since neither of them had any prior criminal record and convinced the court that in the interests of justice it should dismiss each case on $500.00 court costs, and the court agreed.
Result: Case to be dismissed on payment of court costs and record protected.