It is illegal to accept or purchase property obtained via theft. Receiving stolen property is a separate offense from theft, extortion or robbery, and it aims to deter further theft. Depending on the jurisdiction, reception of stolen property may be a felony or misdemeanor. For one to be convicted according to Criminal Law in Fort Benning GA, prosecutors must show:
* That the property was stolen. For a conviction to occur, the item must have been stolen. Police cannot set one up to receive stolen items just to make an arrest.
* That the defendant knew (or should have known) that the items were stolen
* That the defendant intended to permanently deprive the owner of their property
In some jurisdictions, prosecutors must demonstrate that the defendant intended to help a thief by buying or taking stolen items. Some areas differentiate between possession and reception of stolen property.
If the Receiver Was Unaware, the Items Were Stolen
The key difference between possession and reception of stolen items is when the defendant learned that the items were stolen. If the receiver knew the item’s status when they acquired it, they are guilty of receiving stolen property. If they discovered the item’s status after taking possession, but they still plan to keep or sell the item, they are guilty of possession.
Consequences of Reception of Stolen Property
According to Criminal Law in Fort Benning GA, receiving stolen property can be classed as either a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the value of the items in question. Those found guilty may face punishments such as restitution, imprisonment, fines and probation.
A successful prosecution depends on the factors listed above. Generally, if an attorney can disprove any of those factors, a conviction will not occur. Possible defense is that the defendant intended to turn in the property. Prosecutors must prove by the “reasonable person” standard that the defendant knew the items were stolen, and if they cannot meet that standard, the case cannot go forward.
Steps for Those Accused of Reception of Stolen Property
Accusations of receiving stolen property can present unique legal challenges. If a person is facing such charges, they should Contact Ezell, Chancey & Raiford, LLP right away to learn about their rights, possible defenses and the complexities of the legal system.
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