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The crime of Receiving Stolen Property usually consists of four elements:
Although physical possession is not always needed, a person "receives stolen property" by taking possession of that property. Possession can be tangible, physical and/or control of the property.
There are disputes between jurisdictions on the element of "knowledge that the property was stolen." In some jurisdictions the fact that the property is stolen satisfies the knowledge element. Other jurisdictions rely on reasonable belief the property may have been stolen. Knowledge can be established by the circumstances in which the property is obtained or transacted. It can also be established by the circumstances of how the property was removed from the possession of the original owner and how the property is in the possession of the accused.
Receiving stolen property can be charged as a criminal misdemeanor or criminal felony in California and is prohibited under Penal Code 496 PC.
Punishments for charges of Receiving Stolen Property include imprisonment and/or fines. Imprisonment can be in state prison, county jail, juvenile detention or federal prison. The duration of imprisonment time and imprisonment local are often determined by the age of defendant, the value of the stolen property, the jurisdiction of the criminal charge and/or if the defendant has any priors, is on probation or parole. In many cases incarceration is avoided for probation and/or restitution.
In many cases the victim of the crime or the court can demand that the accused return the stolen property. If the accused is unable to return the stolen property, due to conversion or damage the accused may be required to repay the victim the full value of the property. This can result in a civil action if the defendant is unable to make restitution in a timely manner.
A Criminal Defense Lawyer can present evidence to dispute the four elements that make up the crime of Receiving Stolen Property. A defense attorney can challenge the criminal charges to defend wrongfully charged defendants. In cases in which the defendant did not honestly know that property was stolen. A criminal defense attorney can introduce supporting evidence and/or present the circumstance to dispel the required element that the defendant truly knew or should have known the property was stolen.
A criminal defense attorney can establish true ownership of the property in cases where law enforcement mistakenly identify property as stolen. Through experience in the criminal court process and law enforcement procedures a lawyer can "clear-up" complex misunderstanding to demonstrate the property while in possession of the defendant was still under control of the owner.
A criminal attorney can also negotiate the potential civil and criminal punishment for Receiving Stolen Property charges. Evaluation of the evidence and circumstances of the arrest, property and defendant's history an experience attorney can seek reductions in punishment to protect future opportunities for the defendant. Probation, restitution, and where incarceration time will be served can also be negotiated by a criminal attorney. In circumstances where multiple parties are involved, a lawyer can also seek to establish appropriate repayment if the stolen property has been damaged or unable to be returned to the original owner.
If you have been charged with Receiving Stolen Property, call Attorney Search Network and we can refer you to a criminal defense lawyer that can help you with your Receiving Stolen Property charges.
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