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Fourth Degree Criminal Possession Of Stolen Property: New York Penal Law 165.45

January 31, 2019

In New York, it is a crime to accept or buy property that is the result of a larceny or another type of theft crime such as robbery or burglary. In both instances, a person no longer has access to their property such as money, jewelry or vehicle. It’s been permanently taken from them.

The problem for you or your loved one is that you may be accused of violating New York Penal law 165.40. The statute makes receiving stolen property a crime in the Big Apple. The state has different degrees of receiving stolen property because of the dollar amount of the property. For example, first degree criminal possession of stolen property is obtaining stolen goods valued higher than $1 million. The penalty for that degree is 25 years in state prison.

What is Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the Fourth Degree?

Criminal possession of stolen property in the fourth degree refers to acquiring stolen goods and keeping it from the true owner. It also involves obtaining stolen property for some kind of personal benefit such as keeping the item or selling it.

What makes it a fourth degree crime is the value of the stolen property. Any stolen item with the value ranging from $1,000 to $3,000. Thus, if you are accused of taking stolen property valued at $2,000, you could be charged with possession of stolen goods in the fourth degree.

Prosecutors Must Prove Beyond Reasonable Doubt that You Received Stolen Property

Please remember that this is the time to fight. Do not let fear make you too scared to fight. Prosecutors have the responsibility of proving to a jury that you actually committed the crime of receiving stolen goods. The definition outlined in New York Penal Code 165.45 are separated into elements. Prosecutors are required to use these elements and any evidence they have to show your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

The three elements prosecutors must prove to convict you of fourth degree possession of stolen property are:

• You received stolen property. Receiving the stolen property means that it was given to you or you purchased it.
• You had one of two intentions after you receiving the stolen property. You intended to permanently deprive the true owner of their property. If you didn’t intend to deprive them of the property, you were going to benefit from having their property. This benefit could be using the property or selling it again.
• The stolen property’s value ranged from $1,000 to $3,000.

New York law does make it easier for prosecutors to prove guilty. The court can instruct the jury at your trial to presume you possessed stolen property. Why? It is up to the jury to make this inference if they believe prosecutors clearly established the first element. This means all prosecutors must do is clearly establish knew the property was stolen to prove that element.

Punishment for a Class E Crime in New York

Fourth degree receiving stolen goods crime is a Class E felony. This means prison time, if you’re convicted. The sentence for receiving stolen property in the fourth degree is four years in prison.

Speak to a New York Criminal Defense Lawyer about Your Stolen Property Charge

If you or your loved one was accused of possessing stolen property, don’t volunteer any information. You should let them know that you didn’t know the property was stolen. This fact can be used against in a court of law. Instead, speak to a New York defense lawyer.
Whether you knew the property was stolen or had no idea, you have the right to protect your legal rights and fight the charge. A criminal defense lawyer can even get your case dropped or reduced to a lesser charge. For example, fifth degree stolen property is a lesser charge. It is a misdemeanor punishable by one year in county jail. Thus, it is helpful to get the charged downgraded.

Contact us today to start fighting your criminal charge.



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