This law regarding theft and fraud is as stipulated in chapter 2913. The law states that a person should not receive, retain, purchase or aid in the disposal of property or goods that have been obtained through theft or embezzlement. Anyone who violates this law by receiving stolen property is an accessory to theft. As such, depending on the value of the stolen goods, the case can be a felony or a misdemeanor. Every state has specific stipulations on this law.
For this law to apply, various elements must satisfy. These are:
Proof of lack of knowledge that the goods are stolen is often used as defense in receipt stolen property cases. The prosecutor must prove that the defendant was conscious that the goods were stolen. Another defense is intoxication. In this case, the defendant must prove that they were so intoxicated that they lost consciousness of the origin of goods. In other cases, infancy and insanity could be used as defense.
Receiving stolen property can fall under a felony depending on the value of the property stolen and the legal stipulations of a specific state. For lower value goods, the court considers it a misdemeanor. For instance, receipt of goods worth more than $500 is a felony. Also, the type of property stolen is a factor to consider in deciding whether the crime will be considered a felony or not. Possessing an illegally acquired credit card whether or not the receiver has used the card to make purchases is a felony. All the elements of this law must substantiate for one to be found guilty.
As long as one does not have the knowledge that the property in question is stolen, they are not legally liable. This includes situations where the accused is not even aware that they are in possession of the stolen goods. For instance, if someone stole some goods and hid them in your property without your knowledge, then you are legally innocent. However, if you discover that the goods were stolen and still keep them then you become liable to the law.
The penalty for the crime of receiving stolen property largely depends on whether it is a felony or a misdemeanor. The maximum penalty for a felony is 10 years imprisonment as stipulated in section 148 of Crime Act.
The following are the penalties if the crime is deemed a misdemeanor:
Penalties for a felony are direr. They include:
Are you facing charges of receiving stolen property? We know it can be confusing, embarrassing and cumbersome to deal with. At Zappich&Liller law firm we have a team of dedicated criminal defense lawyers who will ensure your rights are protected and guide you through the charges. Contact us for a team you can rely on.