Why You Need a Worcester Property Crimes Attorney

Defending against robbery, burglary and other theft charges

While usually not treated as severely as violent crimes or sexual offenses, property crimes are still a serious matter. And in the case of robbery and burglary, harsh sentences are imposed without regard to the value of the property taken. Property crimes may also carry stiffer penalties when they involve elderly or disabled victims. Considering the complexity of the governing law and the broad range of sentences available, facing these charges without the assistance of an experienced Worcester attorney is a dangerous risk to take. Our lawyers at Gould & Ettenberg, P.C. understand these charges and have had marked success guiding our clients to favorable plea bargains and other resolutions.

Armed and unarmed robbery

Robbery — the taking of the property of another by force or threat — is a much more serious crime than theft accomplished without force. In fact, robbery accomplished with the use of a dangerous weapon carries a potential sentence of life or any term of years and a minimum sentence of five years. Even if accomplished without the use of a weapon, a robbery conviction can still carry up to a ten-year sentence.


Burglary is a complicated crime for which the potential penalties vary substantially depending on the surrounding circumstances:

  • Armed burglary — Breaking into a dwelling at night while armed with a dangerous weapon carries a sentence of ten years to life in prison. If an occupant is killed under such circumstances, the perpetrator may also be charged with murder, even if the death was unintentional.
  • Unarmed burglary — Breaking into a dwelling at night while unarmed carries a sentence of up to 20 years’ confinement.
  • Breaking and entering — Forcefully entering a building other than a dwelling at night and with the intent to commit a larceny or felony within carries a sentence of up to 20 years in prison. Doing so with the intent to commit a misdemeanor within carries a sentence of up to six months.

Theft and larceny

Theft — called larceny in Massachusetts — is the wrongful taking of the property of another with the intent to permanently deprive the owner of it. This includes not only theft in the conventional sense but also theft by fraud, misrepresentation or embezzlement. Larceny of property worth more than $250 can carry a sentence of up to five years’ confinement — ten if the victim was disabled or over 65. Lesser larceny and shoplifting can still carry substantial penalties and the lasting mark of a criminal record. Because larceny can involve such a wide array of conduct, it’s important to consult an experienced criminal lawyer if you or someone in your family is accused of this type of crime.

Contact a law firm that stands with those facing property crime charges

Gould & Ettenberg, P.C. attorneys have zealously represented individuals in Worcester accused of a wide range of property crimes. Call us at 508-752-6733 or contact us online to set up a consultation with a caring and experienced attorney today. We are conveniently located in downtown Worcester with easy access to both state and federal courthouses as well as convenient parking.