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It is a crime to acquire, buy, conceal, or possess stolen property. You can be charged with the crime of receiving stolen property when you buy or possess property stolen through fraud, theft, embezzlement, deceit, or acquired through any means that is unlawful.
A person who receives stolen property could be convicted if, at the time of receipt, he or she was aware that the goods had been stolen, or was intending to help the thief in any way.
Although Los Angeles theft crimes are based on the actual act of taking property, receiving stolen property violates Penal Code Section 496 PC. It is a crime to acquire other people’s property without their knowledge or permission.
In Los Angeles, this crime could be charged as a felony or misdemeanor, depending on the district attorney’s discretion, as well as the value of the item in question.
The crime of receiving stolen property is in violation of:
1. Penal Code Section 484, if the value of the item in question is under $400.
2. Penal Code Section 487, if the value of the stolen item is above $400.
3. Penal Code Section 459, if the crime is a first-degree burglary.
4. Penal Code Section 211, if the crime is indeed a robbery.
5. Penal Code Section 504 or Penal Code Section 487(a), if the crime is an embezzlement of another person’s property
According to the law, one cannot be convicted for accidentally acquiring stolen property. The only person who can be charged is one who knowingly possesses an item that has been stolen.
It is advisable only to seek the services of an experienced theft crimes defense lawyer, in case you, or a friend, has been charged with the crime of receiving stolen property in Los Angeles. If you hire an attorney early enough, you could prove that the police didn’t conduct a thorough investigation before arresting you.
The penalties for receiving stolen property
If the value of the property in question is below $400, the offender will be required to pay a fine and/or spend a year in county jail prison. The misdemeanor conviction, however, depends on the judge’s classification of the punishment. The penalty could increase if the individual in question has prior theft convictions.
Receiving stolen property or helping a thief could also attract a felony conviction that may result in spending one year in county jail or state prison. The prison term will depend on how severe the crime is. Things like the prior criminal record of the defendant as well as the stolen property’s value will come into play.
If you have been charged with possessing stolen property, you can only be convicted if the prosecutor proves that at the time of receipt, you knew the property was stolen, or you were planning to aid the thief by holding or buying the stolen property.
Your lawyer could prove that the crime was committed as a result of not knowing that the property had been stolen. A reputable Los Angeles criminal defense attorney can come up with various defenses.
Depending on factors such as the value of the stolen property, it is possible to avoid conviction, fines, or even jail completely. The outcome of your conviction hugely depends on the criminal defense lawyer you hire. Our law firm is experienced in such matters, and will help you avoid the penalties.
If you have been charged with receiving stolen property in Los Angeles, consult our law firm today, and we’ll do our best so you can achieve a positive outcome. Together, we will discuss the facts concerning the case, and determine the best defenses.