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Receiving Stolen Property
Trenton Receiving Stolen Property Lawyers
Experienced Defense Lawyers Represent Clients Accused of Receiving Stolen Property in Mercer County, New Jersey
The crime of receiving stolen property makes it a punishable criminal offense for an individual to even receive property that has been stolen by another person in Mercer County. Unfortunately, receiving stolen property is often an accusation that is not taken seriously enough by many who may believe that the fact that they did not steal the property themselves make the crime a less severe one. In fact, a conviction for receiving stolen property can result in punishment by up to ten years in prison and $150,000 in fines in the most severe cases, in addition to the stigma of a criminal conviction on your permanent criminal record.
If you or a loved one have been accused of receiving stolen property in New Jersey, you need a reputable criminal defense lawyer who you can trust to help minimize the potential penalties for receiving stolen property. Our criminal defense lawyers have over 20 years’ combined experience successfully representing clients in receiving stolen property cases, so contact the Davis Law Firm, LLC, for a free consultation in which we will provide experienced and compassionate advice about your case. We handle cases throughout South Jersey, including in Mercer County, Hamilton and Trenton.
Receiving Stolen Property Law in New Jersey
Under New Jersey law, establishing the fact that the accused individual had knowledge that the property in question was stolen is the key element that the prosecution must prove in order to convict. N.J.S.A. 2C:20-7 provides that an individual is guilty of receiving stolen property if he or she:
- Knowingly receives or brings movable property into New Jersey, while
- Knowing that the property was stolen, or believing that it was probably stolen.
This means that the prosecution must prove that the accused individual knew that he or she was in possession of the property, and that he or she knew, or reasonably should have suspected, that it was stolen. The accused individual can use his or her intention of restoring that property to its rightful owner as a defense to the accusations, but knowledge will be presumed under the law if the accused:
- Was found in possession or control of two or more items of stolen property on two or more separate occasions,
- Received stolen property in another transaction within the year before the year he or she was again accused of receiving stolen property,
- Was in the business of buying or selling the type of property received, and acquired the property in question without conducting a reasonable inquiry as to whether the person from whom it was received had the legal right to possess and dispose of it, or
- Was found in possession of two or more defaced access devices.
Skilled Lawyers at the Davis Law Firm, LLC Fight to Minimize Penalties After Accusations of Receiving Stolen Property
Like many other theft crimes, if you are convicted of receiving stolen property in New Jersey, the applicable penalty will depend up on the value of the property in question. Receiving stolen property is treated as:
- A second degree offense, which carries possible jail time of between five and ten years and up to a $150,000 monetary fine, if the retail value of the property is $75,000 or more,
- A third degree offense if the property is valued at between $500 and $75,000, which can result in jail time of between three and five years and up to $15,000 in penalties,
- A fourth degree offense if the value is between $200 and $500, which still carries a potential jail sentence of up to 18 months and a possible $10,000 fine, and
- A disorderly persons offense if the property is valued at less than $200.
It is important to remember that even a disorderly persons offense can carry a possible jail sentence of up to six months and significant monetary fines, making it crucial that you retain a skilled criminal defense lawyer to advocate on your behalf even if you feel that the crime accused is relatively minor.
Schedule a Free Initial Consultation With a Battle-Tested Receiving Stolen Property Lawyer in Hamilton, New Jersey
If you have been accused of receiving stolen property, a skilled criminal defense lawyer from Davis Law Firm, LLC can be key to minimizing the potential consequences of this charge. Call our offices or fill out this secure online form, to schedule a free initial consultation with one of our experienced criminal defense attorneys today. Our offices are conveniently located at 2653 Nottingham Way, Hamilton, NJ 08619.
Frequently Asked Questions About Trenton Receiving Stolen Property
The standard for establishing that you received stolen property is relatively low—it is enough that the prosecution can prove that you reasonably should have known that the property in question was stolen. For example, if your friend sold you a brand new computer at a low price, and you knew that your friend could likely not afford to purchase that computer based on your knowledge of his or her financial circumstances, the prosecution may be able to prove that you should have known that the property was stolen—even if you did not know for sure that the property was stolen, but believed that it might have been stolen, that may be enough for a conviction.
Not necessarily. In New Jersey, a diversionary program known as pre-trial intervention provides a possible alternative to prosecution and jail time for certain first-time offenders, so long as the crime accused is not one of several specifically enumerated violent crimes. Pre-trial intervention will require you to complete a series of steps, including potential counseling, refraining from using drugs and alcohol in some cases, and can require payment of restitution and other fines. The primary benefit of pre-trial intervention is that, upon successful completion, you will have no criminal record—in fact, pre-trial intervention often removes the need for prosecution entirely.