Under California law, it is a crime to buy, posses, hide, withhold or sell any property or item that is obtained by deceit or is stolen. If you are convicted of possession of stolen property, the consequences can be brutal depending on the property’s value and the conditions of the case. Nonetheless, it should be noted that simply because you are facing possession of stolen property charges, you might not be automatically convicted. Several of these charges might come from false information or a misunderstanding. There are some cases where the accused are unaware that the property in their possession is stolen. In spite of the circumstances surrounding your case, it is critical to contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer who will guide you through the process to get the charges facing you reduced or dropped all together.
According to the California law, (California Penal Code Section 496 (a)), all people who buy or receive any assets that have been stolen or that have been acquired in a manner constituting to extortion or theft, with knowledge that the property is stolen, or withholds, conceals, sells, or helps in selling, concealing, or withholding any assets from the rightful owner, aware that the property is stolen, is punishable by incarceration in a state detention center, or a county prison for a period not exceeding 1 year.
This section also states that if the jury or the prosecutor finds out that property’s value is not more than 950 US dollars, the offense then becomes a misdemeanor, which subjects the defendant to up to 1-year custody in a county prison.
What the Prosecutor Must Prove
To establish that the defendant possesses the stolen property under consideration, the prosecutor has to provide evidence confirming that:
Possession of the property or item means physically owning the property. Nonetheless, you can be culpable of owning stolen property provided that you possess and control it. For instance, although you might not be driving a stolen car, if you have it in your business or home, you still have possession of it.
There are numerous defenses that can be presented by an experienced criminal defense attorney. Mistake of fact is one of the possible defense. For instance, if you buy an item or property and you are not aware that the property is stolen, you cannot be declared guilty of owning stolen property. Besides, you cannot be convicted if you were unaware of your possession of stolen property. A good example is an event where someone puts the item or property in your car or home without your knowledge.
If you or your loved ones are accused of possessing or receiving stolen property, immediately contact experienced criminal defense attorney Robert E. Levy. Robert E. Levy will offer you every info and resources you need to make an educated decision concerning your case. Remember, a knowledgeable and experienced defense lawyer can make a big difference in your case.
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