When Can I be Arrested for Receiving Stolen Property Under 2C:20-7a?

Many people have probably come across a scenario where a friend, family member, or another individual has offered to sell them property such as electronics, car parts, computer equipment or other goods. In some cases, the property may have been offered at a significant discount. In other cases, the friend or family member may have given the item as a gift. However, regardless of the situation that put the property in your possession, you soon faced serious complications.

One afternoon or evening the police may have come knocking at your door inquiring about the very property that was provided to you by the friend or family member. It isn’t long before the police are reading you your rights and informing you that you are under arrest for receiving stolen property.

If you are facing criminal charges due to allegedly receiving stolen property, it is essential that you understand the law including what the state must prove to convict you of this crime. The strategic and aggressive criminal defense lawyers of the Law Offices of John J. Zarych may be able to fight for you. To schedule a free and confidential initial consultation, call (609) 625-3006 today or contact us online.

Receiving Stolen Property Is a Crime under New Jersey Law

Receiving stolen property is a crime that is defined under 2C:20-7. Receiving stolen property can be charged in a number of circumstances, however, the most common scenarios where it is charged if he or she receives stolen property. The crime can also be charged when an individual brings stolen property into the state. If you receive property under suspicious circumstances, you may face charges for receiving stolen property.

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What Must the State Prove to Convict Me of Receiving Stolen Property?

To convict an individual of receiving stolen property, the prosecutor must convince a jury beyond a showdown of a doubt that three elements exist. First, the prosecutor must prove that the defendant knowingly received stolen “movable” property or that he or she knowingly brought stolen “movable” property into the state. To receive property means that the individual acquired possession or control of the property. “Movable” property simply means that the location of the property can be changed. Thus, while this statute would cover any movable object of value, it would not likely cover land or other fixed types of property. A person “knows” that he or she has received or taken stolen property into the state when he or she is aware of the fact or when there is a high probability of a fact.

Next, the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the property is actually stolen. Stolen property is a property that has been taken possession of unlawfully or through illegal means. If a person merely believes that property is stolen but the property is, in fact, legally possessed he or she cannot be charged under this statute. Likewise, because the definition of stolen property requires the intent of a permanent (or extended period of time) taking, receiving the property merely to return it to the owner is a defense to this crime.

Finally, the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the property had been stolen or that it was likely that it had been stolen. Here, the state must show more than the fact that the property was stolen. It must also show that the defendant knew that the property was stolen or that it was probable that the property was stolen. As stated above, “knowing” action means that the defendant was aware that the circumstances existed or was aware of a high probability that the property was stolen.

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Contact an Atlantic City Criminal Lawyer if You’re Facing Charges for Receiving Stolen Property in New Jersey

If you are facing charges for receiving stolen property or bringing stolen property into the state of New Jersey, you could face serious penalties including jail time. Furthermore, a conviction under this statute will lead to a criminal record and may carry a stigma that narrows educational and professional opportunities. If you’re facing criminal charges in New Jersey working with an aggressive and strategic criminal lawyer can force the prosecutor to satisfy all elements of the charge and protect you from an inappropriate conviction and consequences.

To schedule a confidential initial legal consultation with the lawyers of the Law Firm of John J. Zarych call (609) 625-3006 today or contact us online.