Criminal Attorney Kristen Bonavita has years of experience handling cases of theft, violence and community order. In these cases especially, it is important to have a criminal lawyer who understands the prosecutions burden and can identify those circumstances in which that burden cannot be met. Additionally, in certain cases of theft or violence, the cases are often more emotionally charged because of a sympathetic victim or witness. In those situations, it is equally as important to understand the impetus behind the crime as it is to understand the specifics of the case; the criminal defense attorney must personalize the defendant, just as the prosecution will seek to personalize the victim.
In some cases, criminal action is taken because of an underlying issue of addiction. Clients facing alcohol, drug, gambling and other addictions are more likely to commit certain offenses because of these principal addictions. Attorney Kristen Bonavita is dedicated to understanding the catalyst behind the offenses and work toward reduced or alternative sentencing based upon a court adopted treatment regimen. If accepted by the judge and prosecutor, in many cases this alternative sentencing can allow a client the ability to avoid jail time or even maintain a record free from convictions.
The crime of burglary in Massachusetts is defined as the unlawful breaking and entering of a building with intent to commit a felony or to steal valuable property. It is found in Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 266 (Crimes Against Property) – § 14 (armed burglary) and § 15 (unarmed burglary). Read More...
In Massachusetts, the robbery statutes are found in General Laws Chapter 265, §17 and §19. In general, the Commonwealth must prove, beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant used the exertion of actual or constructive force against another with the intention of forcing that person to part with his or her property. Read More…
Larceny, in its most general form, is defined as the taking and carrying away of the personal property of another with the intent of depriving the owner of its use permanently. Read More…
Larceny is defined as taking someone’s personal property without their content with the intent of depriving the victim of the ownership or use of that property. This can include theft, pick-pocketing, purse snatching, identity theft, forgery, cashing a check that didn’t belong to you (check larceny), or stealing money from a business (embezzlement). Read More…
Grand larceny is a felony. Larceny is considered grand larceny when the value of the stolen property exceeds $250.
At common law, larceny was defined as the trespassory taking and carrying away of the property of another person with the intent to steal. The word “trespassory” means without right. Read More…
Breaking and Entering
Whoever, in the night time, breaks and enters a building, ship, vessel or vehicle, with intent to commit a felony, or who attempts to or does break, burn, blow up or otherwise injures or destroys a safe, vault or other depository of money, bonds or other valuables in any building, vehicle or place, with intent to commit a larceny or felony, whether he succeeds or fails in the perpetration of such larceny or felony, shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for not more than twenty years or in a jail or house of correction for not more than two and one-half years.
Motor Vehicle Larceny
Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 266 Section 28 governs the crime of larceny of a motor vehicle. The law prohibits stealing, receiving, buying, possessing, or concealing a motor vehicle or a trailer that one knew or had reason to know was stolen. Evidence that identifying numbers on the car or car parts have been intentionally removed or changed will be prima facie evidence that the defendant knew or had reason to know that the car or parts were stolen.
The law also prohibits taking a motor vehicle without the owner’s authority and stealing any of the motor vehicle’s parts or accessories. Additionally, Chapter 266 Section 28 makes it a crime to knowingly conceal a person who committed larceny of a motor vehicle.
“Joyriding,” the knowing unauthorized use of a vehicle, does not amount to larceny of a motor vehicle. Joyriding is a misdemeanor for a first offense and is governed by Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 90 Section 24(2)(a).
Larceny of a motor vehicle is punishable by up to 15 years in the state prison, up to 2 ½ years in a jail or house of correction, a fine of up to $15,000, or both imprisonment and a fine. Prosecutions for larceny of a motor vehicle cannot be continued without a finding. A second or subsequent conviction carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 1 year imprisonment. The penalty for knowingly concealing a motor vehicle thief is up to ten years in prison, up to 2 ½ years in a house of correction, a fine of up to $5,000, or both the jail time and the fine.
Receiving Stolen Property
Under Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 266 Section 60, it is a crime to receive, aid in the concealment of, or buy stolen goods. To convict a defendant of this crime, the prosecutor has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that:
- The goods were stolen. The prosecutor is not required to establish the identity of the person who stole the goods.
- The defendant knew that the goods were stolen. This is a subjective test. Therefore, even if a reasonable person would have reason to think that the goods were stolen, that is inadequate. The subjective test for knowledge will usually be satisfied through circumstantial evidence such as an excessively low purchase price. For instance, if the defendant bought a luxury diamond necklace from a street merchant for $10, that would be circumstantial evidence that she actually knew that it was stolen. The burden of explanation is on the defendant where the property was stolen recently. If there is no reasonable explanation, then knowledge is inferred. The Appeals Court has held that this inference of knowledge does not violate constitutional rights.
- The defendant bought, received, or aided in the concealment of the stolen goods. If the defendant received the property without knowing that it was stolen but later finds out that it was stolen and does not try to give it back to the true owner, this amounts to aiding in the concealment of the stolen goods.
If the value of the goods is $250 or less, the maximum sentence for a first offense is 2 ½ years in a jail or house of correction or a fine of up to $250. For a second or subsequent offense and where the value of the property is more than $250, the maximum sentence is up to 5 years in state prison.
If you are facing Burglary, Larceny, or any other criminal charges in Newburyport, Salem, Boston, Revere, Amesbury, Salisbury, Lawrence, or any town in the Essex or Middlesex counties in Massachusetts, call Criminal Defense Attorney Bonavita immediately at 978-376-6746 or email her with your case information!