What Should I Know About Receiving Stolen Property?

People usually think of crimes as the sole actions of individuals. However, third parties are often involved. This is the case for receiving stolen property. Many people may wonder what they should do in such a situation and whether or not they could be convicted of a crime. It is indeed a crime but only under certain circumstances.  If you are arrested for receiving stolen property, contact a bail bonds company.

What Constitutes Receiving Stolen Property?

The act of receiving stolen property is defined by state laws. In most cases, this crime has four elements that must exist. First, the accused must have actually received the property. Second, the goods must have been stolen. Third, the receiving party must have known it was stolen. Fourth, the receiver must have intended for the actual owner of the property to be deprived of it for his or her benefit.

The most key of these elements for prosecution is the knowledge that the goods were stolen. If there was no knowledge of the fact that that they were stolen goods, no crime on the part of the receiver has occurred. Possession of the property is also important. However, this does not need to be physical possession alone. All that is required by the law is manual possession. This could be demonstrated simply by the fact that a person paid for the stolen goods.

What Should You Do If You Are Accused of Receiving Stolen Property?

Typically a bond is set for this charge. This occurs after a person pleads guilty or innocent. The judge will then set the amount that will have to be posted for bail. If you are arrested for receiving stolen property, contact a bail bonds company. After you have posted bond, you will be released. The amount the bond is set at typically depends on the cash value of the stolen goods. It could be as high as $20,000 under certain circumstances.

Even more important is obtaining a lawyer with expertise in this area of the criminal code. Due to the third party nature of receiving stolen property, a strong defense will often result in an acquittal of all charges.

There are a few different defense strategies that work best in this kind of court case. Obviously, proving that the accused did not know the property was stolen will result in an acquittal. However, there can be a successful defense even if it is obvious to the jury that the accused did know it was stolen. Proving that the defendant intended to return the property or call the police is one such possibility.

The Penalties for Receiving Stolen Property

Receiving stolen property is typically classified as either a serious misdemeanor or a felony. This can result in a number of harsh penalties by the justice system such as up to a year in jail, very high fines and long periods of probation. The punishment given will likely reflect the value of the property that was stolen. If it was something as significant as a boat or car, one can expect longer jail sentences and higher fines.