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Receiving Stolen Property

New Jersey Receiving Stolen Property Lawyer

Have you been charged with Receiving Stolen Property? Did you accept property not knowing it was stolen? Or maybe you knew it was stolen and now you are looking for the best possible defense? A conviction of Receiving Stolen Property can result in serious penalties depending on the value of the property. I am Anthony N. Palumbo, Union County defense attorney and partner of The Law Offices of Anthony N. Palumbo. Not only do I have over 35 years of criminal trial experience, but I am also a former prosecutor, and I know which defenses are necessary to win your case. An experienced defense attorney can defend your case in any number of ways by proving you did not have the requisite knowledge for a conviction, excluding evidence at trial based on a violation of your rights, or by arguing down the value of the property so that you receive a lighter sentence.

Don’t end up behind bars, when you can have your charges dropped. While every case is different, I ensure the best possible outcome given the circumstances of your case. Contact me today. With a free initial consultation, you have nothing to lose. Our firm represents clients throughout New Jersey including Monmouth County, Middlesex County, Ocean County, Union County, Somerset County, Hudson County, Mercer County and Essex County. In the meantime, take a look at this page. It should answer some of your immediate questions by helping you understand the elements of the crime, explaining what is required for a conviction, and walking you through the penalties.

I also defend charges of:

  • Unlawful taking
  • Auto theft
  • Identity theft
  • Receiving stolen property
  • Theft of services
  • Forgery
  • Writing bad checks
  • Trespassing
  • Vandalism
  • Shopping offenses
  • Juvenile theft Offenses
  • Breaking and entering

Understanding the Crime

New Jersey Receiving Stolen Property Law

Being convicted of Receiving Stolen Property requires that several things be proven, most importantly, your knowledge that the property you received was stolen. In order to be convicted, you don’t actually have to know for sure that the property was stolen. It is enough if you just believed the property was probably stolen.

  • For example: Imagine you have a friend who you know receives stolen property on a regular basis. Your friend is also unemployed. When you are visiting his house one day, you notice he has a beautiful new CD player that he offers to sell you at a cheap price. He promises that it was not stolen, but you know it’s not likely he could afford such an expensive system. You believe that the system was probably stolen, but since you don’t know for sure and the price is so good, you buy it anyway. In this scenario, you may be charged with Receiving Stolen Property because even though you didn’t know for sure that the property was stolen, you believed it was probably stolen and that is enough.

Because the standard for personal knowledge is so low, it is imperative that you have an attorney by your side. Many innocent people are convicted of Receiving Stolen Property because the low standard makes it easy for the prosecution to prove their guilt. Don’t be someone who is wrongly convicted.

Also, keep in mind that the word receiving doesn’t just mean acquiring possession, but it also means having control, title, or lending on security of the property. This means that you don’t actually need to have the property in your possession in order to be convicted.

  • For example: You could be convicted, if you purchase the title to a stolen car, even though the car is actually located an hour away. You could also be convicted if you own a locked lot where you know a stolen car is located, and you have a key to the lot, controlling when it’s opened and closed. While you do not have actual possession of the car, you have control over it.

What is Necessary for a Conviction?

Receiving Stolen Property Offenses in New Jersey

In order to be convicted, you must:

  • Receive property; and
  • It must belong to someone else; and
  • You must know it has been stolen or believe it probably has been stolen

There are certain actions taken on your part that will allow the court to presume you knew the property was stolen, even if you did not, such as:

  • If you have been found with at least 2 items of stolen property on at least two other separate occasions; or
  • If you received stolen property at another time within the last year; or
  • If you have a business that buys/sells the same type of property received, and you received the stolen property without making sure that the person you got it from did not steal it; or
  • If you have two or more defaced access devices.

It is an affirmative defense that you received the property with the purpose to restore it to the owner. Therefore, if your attorney can prove you had possession for that purpose, the charges against you will be dropped. This is just one more reason why it is so important to have an attorney.

To view the entire New Jersey Law governing Receiving Stolen Property, go to N.J.S.A. 2C:20-7.

Examining the Penalties of Receiving Stolen Property in New Jersey

The penalties you may face for a conviction of Receiving Stolen Property depend on the value of the property you received. An attorney can play a valuable role in your case just by arguing down the value of the property because this can greatly reduce your sentence. If the entire retail value of the property stolen is:

$75,000 or more

  • 2nd Degree Offense
  • 5-10 years in prison

$500 to $75,000

  • 3rd Degree Offense
  • Up to 5 years in prison

$200 to $500

  • 4th Degree Offense
  • Up to 18 months in prison

Less than $200

  • disorderly persons offense
  • Up to 6 months in prison

To read the entire New Jersey Statute on the Penalties for Receiving Stolen Property go to N.J.S.A. 2C:20-11.


Union County NJ Theft Attorney

If you have been charged with Receiving Stolen Property, I can help. I will fight for your innocence, and do everything possible to ensure the charges are dropped, or you receive the lightest penalty possible for your conviction. A conviction of Receiving Stolen Property can put you behind bars for 20 years. Don’t take a chance with your defense.

As part of my services, I offer every client a free initial consultation. Contact me today, and I’ll give you an honest assessment of the penalties you are facing.