Receiving Stolen Property

Simply being in a possession of stolen property is a crime and the penalties can be severe. However, in order to be guilty of receiving stolen property you must first know that you received the property and second that the property you received was in fact stolen. Without proper representation you may be facing severe consequences. If you have been charged with receiving stolen property, speak with a knowledgeable attorney at LS&P Lawyers immediately. Our attorneys can answer any and all questions you may have. We are here to help!

N.J.S.A. 2C:20-7 provides for a presumption of knowledge that the property is stolen under 5 specific circumstances. Under section b. a person is presumed to know that an item is stolen. This notion of presumption of knowledge is the opposite of most other criminal law principles. In other words, in most criminal cases the State must prove that the defendant had a specific mental state or intent to commit the crime. Here, that is not required because the law presumes the defendant knew the property he/she received was stolen.

A person is guilty of receiving stolen property in the second degree if the amount involved is $75,000 or more, the property was taken by extortion, or the property stolen is a controlled dangerous substance (CDS) in a quantity of more than one kilogram.

A person is guilty of receiving stolen property in the third degree if the amount involved exceeds $500 but is less than $75,000, the property stolen is a firearm, motor vehicle, boat, vessel, airplane, horse, or domestic animal, the property stolen is a CDS in the quantity of one kilogram or less, the property is from the person of the victim, or the property is a blank New Jersey Prescription. Upon conviction, a term of imprisonment of 3 to 5 years may be imposed.

Receiving stolen property constitutes a crime of the fourth degree if the amount involved is at least $200 but does not exceed $500 and is punishable by a term of imprisonment of up to 18 months.

All other receiving stolen property charges constitute a disorderly persons offense and are punishable by a term of incarceration of up to 6 months in jail.

Below we have provided the language of the statute for your reference.

N.J.S.A. 2C:20-7 proscribes:

  1. Receiving. A person is guilty of theft if he knowingly receives or brings into this State movable property of another knowing that it has been stolen, or believing that it is probably stolen. It is an affirmative defense that the property was received with purpose to restore it to the owner. "Receiving" means acquiring possession, control or title, or lending on the security of the property. b. Presumption of knowledge. The requisite knowledge or belief is presumed in the case of a person who:
    1. Is found in possession or control of two or more items of property stolen on two or more separate occasions; or
    2. Has received stolen property in another transaction within the year preceding the transaction charged; or
    3. Being a person in the business of buying or selling property of the sort received, acquires the property without having ascertained by reasonable inquiry that the person from whom he obtained it had a legal right to possess and dispose of it; or
    4. Is found in possession of two or more defaced access devices; or
    5. Is found in possession of property of a cargo carrier without proper documentation or other evidence of right to possession.

Contact us today for a free consultation with an experienced criminal defense attorney. We will provide an in depth, easy to understand, explanation of the charges against you and any possible defenses we may be able to raise on your behalf.