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What Is Possession Of Stolen Property?
This charge is usually clear-cut. When someone is in possession of another person’s property in an unlawful manner, then that person is charged with the possession of stolen goods. Examples of stolen property can be cars, whether they are leases or bought cars. It’s not a crime that is like robbery or burglary. The person charged might not physically steal the property but still be in possession of it illegally. Sometimes, another person might give someone property that is stolen, and the defendant will be charged with possession because that person physically has the property.
When the charge of possession is given, it typically means that the person knew beforehand that the property was stolen. The value of the property is taken into consideration when determining whether the charge is a misdemeanor or a felony. Another aspect of the charge is whether the property can be retrieved or if it’s damaged to a point where the owner of the property is unable to get it back. The charge is less severe than burglary or robbery, but it’s still a crime that should be taken seriously. An attorney can assist by offering evidence about whether the defendant knew the property was stolen at the time it was received or whether the defendant was given the property to hold for someone else without any further information. If the defendant is innocently in possession of goods that are stolen and did not know at the time that the goods were stolen, then there usually won’t be a charge at all.
At times, a defendant might hold something for a friend with the intention of giving those items back or with the intention of the person coming back to get the items. If the person forgets about the items and the owner files for possession of stolen goods, it’s usually rectified by giving the items back to the rightful owner. This is a charge that is often easier to defend than a robbery or burglary. The attorney can look at everything about the case to determine the best manner of representing the defendant in court so that the best outcome is achieved.
When looking at the laws that surround possession of stolen property, the main thing that the defendant wants to keep in mind and that the prosecution and judge will look at is the value of the property. Other aspects will include how the goods were acquired and where they were acquired. The prosecution will also look at the condition of the property. Items that are in the same condition as they were when the defendant received them makes the case easier for everyone involved as the punishment won’t be as severe. If the goods are damaged beyond repair, then there is a possibility that the charge will be a felony. There are some prosecutors who will charge the defendant with possession even if the person didn’t know the goods were stolen because it’s the defendant’s responsibility to ensure that the goods are legally owned or possessed. The prosecution will look at all aspects of the possession, and if there is a way that the defendant could have known that the goods were stolen at the time, then the charge is more likely to stay in place.
What Are The Penalties?
There are a few ways that the defendant could see the court case go once the charges are delivered. If there is proof that the defendant is innocent, then nothing will happen, and the charges will be dismissed. If the property is in good condition and is returned, then the charges could be dismissed as well, or the defendant could receive probation, be required to pay a fine or be required to perform community service. Most charges are considered a misdemeanor if the property has a value of $500 or less with anything over $500 being considered a felony. A jail sentence is usually reserved for felonies. Even if jail is a part of the sentence, it’s usually for a minimal amount of time.
Assistance Of An Attorney
When the defendant seeks the help of an attorney, it’s important to take all documents and other evidence that shows that there is no knowledge that the property is stolen. The attorney can submit this evidence to the court and often enter a plea bargain if the goods are indeed stolen or if the defendant knew that the property was stolen. The attorney can also go before the judge to ask for a minimal sentence or for the charges to be dismissed if there is evidence that someone else is involved in the possession.