Boston, MA asked in Criminal Law for Massachusetts

Q: Someone in my town is stealing or damaging trump signs. Is that a criminal offense? If so what level severity is it?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Lissa McKinney
Lissa McKinney
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Acton, MA
  • Licensed in Massachusetts

A: That is absolutely a criminal offense.

Some of the charges could range from larceny ( misdemeanor if $1200 or less), trespass, malicious damage to property, receiving stolen goods. Since this is also protected 1st Amendment and political speech it could implicate civil rights issues as well. Most of these are misdemeanors that would not impose jail on a 1st offense, but might trigger replacement costs, probation, legal fees, fines etc. This isnt harmless either. It is intimidating and can cause fear or provoke violence. It heightenes your anxiety that your home isnt a safe space. Make a police report and be sure you get a copy of the report and express your concern and how this makes you feel. It is bully behavior and they may not see it that way. I have seen people apply mouse traps to the back of signs so as to prevent theft, and other designs are all over the web. You may also want to google around and see if there is an active campaign taking down the signs or it is being spotted.There are people sharing that info on FB, and social media to target areas to take down signs.

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