The crime of receiving stolen property consists of receiving, buying, concealing, selling, or withholding stolen property from the owner. In addition the prosecution has to show that the person charged knew that the property was stolen. Dealers and collectors of merchandise or personal property, such as pawn shop owners, are required to make an inquiry and determine whether property is stolen. If a reasonable inquiry is not made, it will be presumed that the property received was stolen.
If a person innocently acquires property and then later finds out that it was stolen and thereafter continues to conceal he or she may be charged with concealing stolen property. Property need not be hidden in a vault or buried in the ground in order to be concealed. All that is necessary is that its whereabouts be concealed from its rightful owner.
There may be defenses available in these types of cases and only an experienced criminal defense lawyer will be able to help you. For example, it is not a crime to receive stolen property in order to return it to its owner. This is known as the innocent intent doctrine and many times an experienced lawyer will present this defense on behalf of his client. This is just one example. Every case is unique and will have its own facets. The best thing you can do for yourself or your loved one if you are being charged with a crime is to retain an experienced Van Nuys criminal defense lawyer. Contact Sigal Law Group today for a free consultation and case evaluation.