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First Degree Criminal Possession Of Stolen Property: New York Penal Law 165.54

February 2, 2019

Theft is one of the biggest problems in the state of New York and throughout the United States as a whole. There are many different statutes relating to theft crimes. One of those is New York’s Penal Law 165.54, which is criminal possession of stolen property in the first degree. This is a very serious charge that warrants a person immediately retaining a criminal defense attorney if they find themselves facing such a charge.

What is Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the First Degree as Per New York Penal Law 165.54?

Criminal possession of stolen property in the first degree is one of the most serious white collar crimes in New York. A person can be found guilty of this crime and subsequently convicted if they possess stolen property and obtain that property to personally benefit from it or prevent the owner of the property from having it. There are many items that can be the possible stolen property, whether it includes cash, an expensive computer and a television set. In any case, if the property the individual has stolen has a value greater than $1 million, they can be found guilty of first degree criminal possession of stolen property as per the New York Penal Law 165.54. Generally speaking, this is a crime that takes place over a lengthy period of time, rather than in a onetime instance. As a result, the prosecution may be able to determine the value of all the property that was stolen.

This charge can also be placed against a person who has received stolen goods to become the “new” owner. If the person then sells or attempts to sell the property, they do not have the legal right to do so. Likewise, it is illegal for the person to give the property away.

It’s important to note that merely possessing stolen property doesn’t necessarily mean the person will be charged with the crime. There are three key elements the prosecution needs in order to convict a defendant of criminal possession of stolen property in the first degree. They include the following:

• The individual knowingly possesses property that belongs to another person
• The individual knows that the property was stolen
• The individual obtained the property for their own benefit, may have received it to benefit another person who was the original theft and the property was stolen specifically to prevent the owner from having and benefiting from it

Penalties and Sentences for First Degree Criminal Possession of Stolen Property Per Penal Law 165.54

New York classifies criminal possession of stolen property in the first degree as a class B felony. As a result, the individual who is convicted of the crime can receive a harsher sentence if they have a prior criminal conviction on their record. In general, the person can receive up to 25 years in prison and a hefty fine. A person convicted who has a previous conviction from over 10 years earlier or one who doesn’t have a previous conviction can also receive the same sentence, although the judge may be slightly lenient in some cases.

Possible Defenses for Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the First Degree

In general, there are certain defenses that can be used by the criminal defense attorney in a case of criminal possession of stolen property in the first degree. The lawyer can argue that the defendant acted in good faith or had the right of ownership of the property. Another argument can be made that the defendant was not in the right frame of mind at the time of the incident.

If the defendant is or was a juvenile at the time of the crime, the defense attorney can argue about that as well. It is possible for all of these defense tactics to result in the charges being reduced by way of a plea deal.

One defense that is invalid is to claim that it was someone else who stole the property instead of the defendant.

A person who finds themselves charged with this crime should immediately contact a skilled criminal defense attorney. Criminal possession of stolen property in the first degree is a serious charge that can result in many years in prison if the individual is convicted. An attorney is integral in building a strong defense.

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