A Massachusetts resident who owns a vehicle can be inconvenienced by the loss of that automobile, and even the misuse of a motor vehicle without an owner's knowledge can have serious implications. The consequences of stealing a trailer or motor vehicle or knowingly receiving a stolen vehicle or trailer can result in up to 15 years of imprisonment, jail time or fines. These consequences also apply to the theft of car parts.
Massachusetts law also allows for evidence for the theft charges to include any identification information of a trailer or vehicle that has been partially or wholly defaced, altered, removed or destroyed. Such issues serve as an indication that the individual in possession of the vehicle is aware of its stolen status. Additionally, serious consequences face the individual who conceals someone who has stolen a motor vehicle or trailer. Such a person may receive up to 10 years of prison time, jail time or fines.
In cases of prosecution being started in connection with a motor vehicle and trailer theft, limitations on sentence reductions exist. Upon conviction, an individual may not receive a sentence reduction before at least one year has been served. In cases involving second convictions on similar charges, eligibility for work release, furlough, parole or probation is not available. In some cases, temporary release might be available to attend a funeral of a close family member or to visit a critically ill spouse or family member. Additionally, temporary release might be coordinated if emergency medical assistance is needed.
An individual facing charges connected to the theft of a motor vehicle might find that the assistance of a criminal defense lawyer is important. A lawyer might endeavor to negotiate a plea arrangement in order to avoid a long prison sentence. Additionally, a lawyer may evaluate the evidence to determine whether there is potential for having charges dismissed.
Source: General court of the commonwealth of Massachusetts, "Section 30Larceny; general provisions and penalties", September 26, 2014