Philadelphia Receipt of Stolen Property Lawyer
Theft is among the most common criminal offenses in Philadelphia courts. Receipt of Stolen Property is at the top of the list of theft related crimes. Receipt of Stolen Property is a serious offense, and as such requires an experienced criminal defense attorney.
The act of theft comes in many forms: petty theft, theft by extortion, theft by deception and theft under false pretext. The act of stealing in any form, however, does limit itself to the physical nature of theft but as well as knowingly acquiring and receiving property that is stolen falls under this jurisdiction. For example, say that you bought a cell phone from a friend who told you that he stole the item from his place of employment; you could be arrested for knowingly receiving stolen property. If you are found to be in possession of stolen property, regardless of whether you knew it was stolen, it is in your best interest to obtain legal representation from a Philadelphia criminal defense lawyer you can trust.
What Is Receipt of Stolen Property?
A person is guilty of receipt of stolen property under Section 3925 of the Pennsylvania Criminal Code if:
He intentionally receives, retains, or disposes of movable property of another knowing that it has been stolen, or believing that it has probably been stolen, unless the property is received, retained, or disposed with intent to restore it to the owner.
Therefore, knowledge is a key component of receipt of stolen property. You have to have known or believed that the property was stolen to be found guilty. This means that if you had no reason to think that the property was stolen, and had no knowledge to that effect, the prosecution will not be able to make a successful case against you.
Furthermore, if you accept the stolen property for the purpose of returning it to the owner, you should be found innocent of the crime.
Misdemeanor or Felony?
Receiving stolen property is graded as either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the value of what was taken.
- a. If less than $50, then the theft is a misdemeanor of the third degree. This carries a penalty of up to one year imprisonment and a $2,500 fine.
- b. If more than $50, but less than $200, then the theft is a misdemeanor of the second degree. This carries a penalty of up to two years imprisonment and a $5,000 fine.
- c. If more than $200 but less than $2,000, then the theft is a misdemeanor of the first degree. This carries a penalty of up to five years imprisonment and a $10,000 fine.
- d. If more than $2,000, then the theft is a felony of the third degree. This carries a penalty of up to seven years imprisonment and a $15,000 fine.
With such harsh penalties, receiving stolen property is a crime which you must take seriously.
Why Do I Need an Attorney?
An attorney will actively analyze and dispute the factors involved, specifically focusing on that of knowledge. Remember, knowledge or belief that the property was stolen is required in order to find someone guilty of receiving stolen property.
Depending on the circumstances of the case, your attorney should try to discredit the knowledge requirement and defeat evidence which is not in your favor. A lawyer may be able to help you to avoid further prosecution on these merits.
This content was written on behalf of Greg Prosmushkin.