January 28, 2009 By Wallin & Klarich

While you’re hitting up the local shopping centers for holiday gifts, someone in the parking lot offers you a great deal on a brand new iPad. The deal is too good to pass up even though it’s sketchy. You give the person cash and he gives you a new tablet, the perfect gift at an unbelievable price. Is this deal too good to be true? Once you’re arrested on suspicion of receiving stolen property, you realize that it is too good to be true.

Felony Receiving Stolen Property

Receiving Stolen PropertyYou can be charged with receiving stolen property if prosecutors believe you bought or otherwise accepted property that you knew to be stolen. You might also be charged with this crime if you knowingly conceal, sell or withhold any property from its rightful owner, or help someone guilty of theft to do so.

In this context, “receiving” means actually taking control of the property. For example, you should not be convicted if the stolen property is merely left outside the door to your home or business. However, you could be convicted if you knowingly authorize an employee to take possession of stolen property, even if you never actually touch it. Receiving stolen property in California, like theft, is usually a misdemeanor when the value of the property was under $400, and can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony if it was worth $400 or more. Prior convictions make a felony charge more likely.

In most cases, the prosecution must prove that you knew the property was stolen when you received it, which can be difficult. However, dealers in scrap metal and other junk can be charged with receiving stolen property if they buy or accept scraps that they reasonably should have known belonged to a public utility, transit organization or government agency. Several other dealers in secondhand items, including bookstores and swap meet vendors, are required by law to ask sellers whether the used materials they are offered were obtained legally.

Many cases of receiving stolen goods are built on circumstantial evidence, speculation and surveillance that might not always be legal.

Call a Criminal Defense Attorney Immediately

criminal defense attorneysWallin & Klarich criminal defense lawyers in California have practiced law in for more than 30 years, so we understand the law — and we know the courts that will hear your case, because we work with them regularly. Because we know our clients come to us at a stressful time in their lives, we make sure someone is always available to answer calls — 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. We serve communities throughout Southern California, with more than 20 offices from San Diego to Ventura to the Inland Empire, so we can be wherever you need us most.

With offices in Los Angeles, Sherman Oaks, Torrance, Tustin, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, West Covina and Victorville, there is an experienced Wallin & Klarich criminal defense attorney near you no matter where you work or live.

Call us today at (888) 280-6839 for a free phone consultation. We will be there when you call.

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