When talking about stolen property, the crime of larceny often comes to mind. In New York, larceny is the act of taking property belonging to someone without their consent. In addition to taking the property, a person is accused of the intent to deprive the true of the property permanent. This means you never return the stolen property. Some people decide to keep the property. Other people decide to give or sell the stolen property. This creates a problem for many unsuspecting people. They can be charged with receiving stolen goods.
What is Criminal Possession of Stolen Property?
In New York, receiving stolen property is defined under New York Penal Law 165.40. You can be charged with the crime if you knowingly possess property considered stolen and you do one of two things. You intended to interfere with the owner’s right to obtain their property or intended to benefit from possessing the property.
You do not need to commit larceny. You can be charged if you merely have the property in your possession. It could be in your possession for minutes or weeks after a third party committed larceny.
Criminal possession of stolen property is separated into five categories based on the dollar amount of the stolen property. These categories are called degrees. In New York, you can be charged with possession of stolen property in the first, second, third, fourth or fifth degree.
What is Possession of Stolen Property in the Fifth Degree?
Fifth degree criminal possession of stolen property occurs when a person who receives the property knows it is stolen. They seek to keep the property from its true owner or they benefit from having possession of the property. It’s a lesser stolen property charge because the value of the stolen property is under $1,000.
Criminal Possession of Property that is Stolen is a Class A Misdemeanor
In New York, a possession of stolen property charge can be a felony or misdemeanor based on the dollar value of the stolen property received. For instance, it’s 25 years in prison if a person is convicted of receiving stolen goods valued at over $1 million. The punishment for receiving stolen property in fifth degree is one year in county jail.
How a Possession of Stolen Property is Prosecuted in New York
Prosecutors must prove elements outlined in the state’s statute to show you’re guilty of the crime. They must show beyond all reasonable doubt that you acquired or purchased stolen property. To do this, prosecutors must prove each element of the statute separately. There are three elements in a New York receiving stolen property charge:
• You knowingly possessed property that was stolen.
• You did one of two crimes. You intended to benefit from having the stolen property. For example, you intended to sell it. If you didn’t intend to benefit from having the property, you intended to stop the true owner from retrieving their property.
• The property stolen was valued at less than $1,000.
In a stolen property case in New York, a judge can instruct a jury to infer or presume that you knowingly possessed stolen property. The inference can be made if prosecutors can clearly establish you knowingly possessed the stolen property.
That’s why it is important to contact a defense lawyer immediately about your stolen property case. You want to understand everything about your case and how to fight the charge.
Our Law Firm has Successfully Represented Many Clients Regarding Stolen Property Charge
You’ve been accused of receiving stolen property, and it feels like prosecutors have a mount of evidence against. You may fear the punishment associated with crime. Do not focus on things you can’t change. Instead, let’s focus on building a specific defense to help win your case or get the case dismissed.
You have many defenses available to you to fight a receiving stolen property charge. For instance, you acted in faith. This means that you didn’t know you were buying or obtaining stolen property because you assumed the seller owned the property. Other possible defenses include innocence, rescission or you rightfully owned the property.
Contact us today for help fighting your fifth degree criminal receiving stolen goods charge.