You might not think that receiving stolen property can get you in trouble. After all, you didn’t steal anything. However, you might be surprised to learn of the penalties for being in possession of stolen property. Depending on its value, you could be facing up to ten years in jail.
Are you surprised at the potential penalties? Consider the recent case involving Craig Thompson, who also went under some other names. He was caught with some stolen property and sentenced to four years in jail.
When a house was robbed in Newark, the homeowner reported that he was missing some watches and an IPad. The IPad was equipped with a GPS tracking device that pinpointed its location. The homeowner provided the tracking information to the local police.
The police used the software to locate the IPad. When they arrived at the designated location, they discovered Thompson and some other men. The defendant was carrying a bag under his coat. The other men were wearing watches that seemed to match the description of those taken during the burglary.
When the police approached Thompson, they asked him to open the concealed bag. Inside, they found the IPad and other items stolen from the home. There is no indication why the defendant was not charged with burglary. However, he was arrested for receiving stolen goods. After a four day trial, Thompson was found guilty. He was subsequently sentenced to four years in jail.
Basic Information Concerning Receipt of Stolen Property
- The law concerning receipt of stolen property is found at NJSA 2C:20-7. Here are some important details you should know concerning it:
- The accused must know that the property was stolen, or suspect that it was
- If the defendant can prove that they intended to restore the property to its rightful owner, they may be found innocent
The law presumes the accused had knowledge that the property was stolen under these conditions:
- Two is a magic number. Getting caught with stolen property at least twice would suggest that the defendant know they were receiving stolen property, or
- Were convicted of another instance of receiving stolen property within the last year, or
- The accused has a familiarity with a particular type of property and failing to ask if it was legitimately owned, or
- Being found in possession of two or more defaced access devices; or
- Possessing property from a cargo carrier, without documentation showing ownership
Penalties are assessed according to the property’s value. The court may order incarceration for items valued as little as $200.
The Law Offices of Beninato & Matrafaljo has extensive experience working with people who have been accused of receiving stolen property. Contact us so we can discuss the legal consequences you may be facing as a result of this charge.