Receiving Stolen Property


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In the Philadelphia courts, receiving stolen property is one of the most common criminal offenses. If you have been found guilty of receiving stolen property it means you kept an item you knew had been stolen. If you are questioned by the police or charged, you will need to retain an experienced and knowledgeable defense attorney.

What You Need To Know About Receiving Stolen Property

In Pennsylvania, receiving stolen property means that someone has intentionally received, retained or disposed of another person’s moveable property, such as jewelry or a laptop, knowing that it has been stolen or believing that it has probably been stolen.

  • The exception is if you received, retained or disposed of the property with the intention of returning it to its owner.

Receiving Stolen Property Can Be A Felony Or Misdemeanor

The grading of a receiving stolen property charge is largely based on the value of what was taken and is now possessed by someone who is not the rightful owner.

If the stolen item in someone’s possession is valued at:

  • More than $2,000, it is a felony of the third degree.
  • Between $2,000 and $200, it is a misdemeanor of the first degree.
  • More than $50 but less than $200, it is a misdemeanor of the second degree.
  • Less than $50, the theft is a misdemeanor of the third degree.

What To Do If You Are Charged

If you are charged with receiving stolen property, do not anger the arresting officer unnecessarily. You will probably be held in jail overnight. At this stage, do not discuss what happened with the police or claim your innocence.

  • As with most criminal charges, you should not talk to the police or prosecutors without your attorney by your side. What you say can be taken out of context and used against you.
  • If the police question you, tell them you want a lawyer and politely refuse to answer their questions.

What Your Lawyer Can Do

Your attorney will carefully review every aspect of your case to determine if there is evidence for all you have been accused of.

  • Your lawyer will make every effort to discredit any evidence not in your favor.
  • Much of what your lawyer can do to help you will depend on the exact circumstances of your case.
  • If you did not know the property was stolen, you lawyer will try to prove it.

Your lawyer will be looking at every avenue that can help you, so it’s important that you give them all of the information that can support your case.

How A Lawyer Will Help

When you are up against a receiving stolen property charge, even before your first hearing you will be facing a determined prosecutor. You need an attorney who will stand by you every step of the way, work hard to discredit any evidence – and work with you to determine your best course of action.

Pennsylvania Receiving Stolen Property Law

Receiving stolen property is described and defined under The Pennsylvania Criminal Code under Title 18, Chapter 39. Read the code here.

Questions? Contact us today.

Questions? Contact us today.

Based on the evidence, Fienman Defense will try to show that the charges should be dismissed. If it’s in your best interest, we will work to negotiate a lesser sentence. Should the case go to trial, we will fight to present the strongest defense possible for your situation.