Shoplifting Laws in Massachusetts: Learn About Massachusetts Shoplifting Laws

by Laurein A.

Massachusetts Shoplifting Laws, Shoplifting Laws Massachusetts

What Are Shoplifting Laws in Massachusetts?

A majority of states in the United States of America have defined and implemented distinct statutes to address the offense of shoplifting. Generally, shoplifting has been defined as an act of robbing merchandise from a retail store or a business place.

The shoplifting laws in Massachusetts include different kinds of activities and include even stealing a shopping cart within its scope. It should be noted in this context that the state statute for shoplifting explicitly permits the police cops to arrest an individual even without having an arrest warrant when they have reasonable reasons to believe that the individual in question was shoplifting.

Definition of Shoplifting in Massachusetts

Check out these acts below, which when done purposely are regarded as shoplifting in the state of Massachusetts:

  1. Concealing items at a retail establishment or shop with the purpose depriving the shop of the benefit, use, or proceeds of that merchandise
  2. Carrying away or gaining possession of merchandise at a shop having the intent to permanently deprive the shop of the benefit or possession of the merchandise.
Massachusetts Shoplifting Laws

       3. Removing or changing the price or label tag with the intention of buying the item at a reduced price as compared to its original higher price so that the store will be deprived of the item's part or total retail value.
       4. Transferring items from a container to another one with the intention of depriving the shop or part or  all of its actual retail value
       5. Removing the shopping cart from the premises of a store having the intention of depriving the shop  of  the benefit, use, or possession of the cart, or
       6. Recording a certain value for the item, which below the original retail value having the intention of depriving the shop of the actual retail value.

Thus, shoplifting laws in Massachusetts makes it unlawful to purposely take possession of, hide, transfer, or carry away any item without making its payment to the business owner, Massachusetts law also includes label-switching to obtain the item yo get the item for a value, which is below its actual cost.

Apart from the offense of shoplifting in the state, law enforcement can also slap a defendant with the charges of larceny in some scenarios. Typically, the offense of larceny is attached to more stringent punishment if the accused is found guilty by the court. Also, the involved items' values can also have a significant impact on the penalty for larceny or shoplifting charges in the state of Massachusetts.

Shoplifting Laws Massachusetts

The defense lawyer can also challenge the shoplifting charges slapped on their clients on grounds of probable cause. The shoplifting charges can be dismissed in the state because of causes like inappropriate actions of shop employees, police officers, or security guards. The defense counsel can also challenge the charge of shoplifting because of reasons like an inappropriate seizure and search of the vehicle or shopping bags of the defendant or inappropriate detention and can lead to dismissal or reduction of such charges.

The lesson here is that it makes sense to get in touch with a reputable defense lawyer in the state of Massachusetts so that they can plead your case properly and reduce your charges or get them dismissed altogether.


The punishments for shoplifting in the state is based on the stolen item's value:

  1. In case the value of the stolen item is below 100 USD, the guilty are penalized by a maximum fine amount of 250 USD for the first-time offense
  2. In case the value of the stolen item is at least 100 USD or more, them the convict is punished by a maximum fine of 1,000 USD and 2.5 years of stay in a correction facility.
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