Buying, receiving, hiding, selling, or assisting another in the sale or concealment of stolen items is a crime that will remain on your criminal record for life. Even if it was a small mistake due to a lack of knowledge, you must act quickly, as you expose yourself to costly fines and prison time.
Let us clarify that this is a crime only if the person knows that the object was stolen or had sufficient reason to suspect it under the circumstances.
An example of these circumstances is if you buy a cell phone from a seller and it does not have a serial number, it still has the original owner’s data, or the price is very low for a recently launched device. These three factors are signs that it is a stolen item, and such suspicions justify questioning the seller’s reliability. Failure to do so and choose to ignore these signs could mean facing charges.
Also, it is a crime if:
- An item was sold to you by a relative or loved one, and you are aware that it was stolen.
- A friend steals a car and asks you to keep it in your garage, which is seen as receiving stolen property.
- You sell stolen products on virtual stores like eBay.
- You help others in the sale or cover-up of stolen jewelry.
You are unlikely to be at fault if you bought a popular brand watch cheaply and did not know that the seller stole it. Likewise, you are innocent if you received the stolen property intending to notify the police later.
To prove innocence in these cases, you need concrete evidence and create a good defense with an attorney’s help. The laws, especially those of theft crimes, are very complicated; only a criminal law expert can provide advice and achieve the best possible result.
Contact our California office to assist you in your case seeking the dismissal or reduction of the charges. We have a proven track record of obtaining favorable verdicts for clients accused of theft crimes. Request a free consultation today with our expert attorneys!