What to do if my son saw a laptop on a chair at the library that he mistakenly though was abandoned so he took it?

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What to do if my son saw a laptop on a chair at the library that he mistakenly though was abandoned so he took it?

There was no one in the room. He looked it over and noticed that it the jack area to place your headphones in was broken. Thinking someone discarded it out of frustration he decided to take it and see if he could get it repaired. It became obvious that, that was not a good decision on his part. Not to many days later, he returned to the library to attend a job fair. While he was there, he was approached by a police officer asking to speak to him. The officer questioned him about taken a laptop from the library. Without hesitation, he stated he had. He than learned that the owner had left it there while he went out of the building for a time.

Asked on April 22, 2013 under Criminal Law, Massachusetts

Answers:

Stan Helinski / McKinley Law Group

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

I'm a criminal defense lawyer in Mass-- the question is whether the property could be considered "reasonably" abandoned" and, ultimatley, if he is charged, the owner of the laptop may lose interest in the case and not show up for trial. Depends on many factors though, you should consult with an attorney.  Your son may be receiving a summons in the mail soon to appear for arraignment.  

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

And did he offer to return it?  I would speak with an attorney about running interference here as you seem to give the impression that things may be heating up.  If it was an honest mistake then it can be rectified easily.  If you think he will be charged then get help.  Good luck.


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