Most think of theft as a serious crime, but did you know that you can be prosecuted if you buy or receive stolen property? It’s true! You’re not off the hook simply because another person committed the theft; you could face serious charges if you accept or buy an item from someone other than the rightful owner.
What’s more, the fact of whether you were aware of the fact that the property was stolen can be irrelevant to the government’s decision to prosecute. In fact, certain circumstances can lead the government to assume that you were actually aware of the illegal status of the property.
Theft-related charges such as buying or receiving stolen property can be devastating for an individual, particularly if you are convicted because this can lead others to believe that you lack trustworthiness. This means that a conviction on this offense could lead to challenges if you’re seeking a job, trying to get an education, wish to rent property or any other situation where someone runs a comprehensive background check.
When your freedom and your reputation is on the line, you need an experienced theft crime defense lawyer who will aggressively and strategically defend your case. At the Law Offices of Jeffrey C. Grass, our legal team works with clients who are facing state and federal prosecution. We have even represented cases that went all the way to the United States Supreme Court.
If you or a loved one are facing charges for a theft crime such as receiving stolen property in Collin County, you need help from the experienced team at the Law Offices of Jeffrey C. Grass. Contact our law offices today to discuss your case in free, fully confidential case consultation. Call (972) 422-9999.
Common Questions Surrounding a Receiving Stolen Property Case
Receiving stolen property is a charge that can carry penalties that are on par with the penalties for actual theft. But at the Law Offices of Jeffrey C. Grass, we understand that “should have known” does not always equate to “did know” when it comes to buying or receiving stolen property.
It’s likely you have many questions concerning your case, so our legal team has compiled information on some of the most common issues that we discuss with clients who are facing this type of allegation.
What is the Definition of Receiving Stolen Property in Texas?
Texas law defines receiving stolen property as the act of accepting an item that you know is stolen. You can also be prosecuted if a reasonable person in the same circumstances would have reason to believe the item was stolen.
Receiving stolen property can apply to any item that is stolen. You may be prosecuted if the stolen item is gifted to you, handed to you or purchased by you. This charge can apply to many different scenarios, including a situation where someone steals and item and then hands it off to you in an attempt to avoid detection.
For example, you could be prosecuted if a friend shoplifted from a store and then gave the stolen item to you in an attempt to avoid being in possession of the stolen goods in the event of a search.
Another scenario could involve buying a stolen item off a friend or accepting that item as a gift.
What Do the Prosecutors Need to Prove to Get a Conviction for Receiving Stolen Property in Collin County?
To be successfully convicted of buying or receiving stolen property, the prosecutors are tasked with proving several facts beyond a reasonable doubt.
The first point that the prosecutor must establish is the item is stolen. Texas penal code defines theft as the unlawful appropriation of an item with the intent to deprive the rightful owner of that property (or compensation for that property.) Theft can also apply to services, but this type of case generally involves goods or an object of some kind.
The prosecutor must also prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that:
you received or purchased the property;
you knew the item was stolen or a reasonable person in your circumstances would have reason to believe the property was stolen;
you, as the recipient of the property, intended to deprive the owner of the property.
As mentioned above, the prosecutor does not need to establish that you knew the item was stolen. Certain circumstances can serve as reasonable grounds to assume an item is stolen. One example would be the case of a $5,000 diamond ring that is sold to you for $200 in an alley or a $2,000 designer purse containing another person’s driver’s license that’s sold to you for $50.
What’s the Penalty for Receiving Stolen Property in Collin County?
Texas law includes some very serious penalties for receiving stolen property, with the actual nature of the charge and penalties varying according to the value of the stolen item.
This offense is typically prosecuted using the same basic formula that is utilized for theft, which is as follows:
Less than $50 is prosecuted as a class C misdemeanor with a possible penalty of a fine up to $500.
$50 to $499.99 is prosecuted as a class B misdemeanor with a possible penalty of up to 180 days in county jail and/or a fine of up to $2,000.
$500 to $1,499.99 is prosecuted as a class A misdemeanor with a possible penalty of up to 1 year in county jail and/or a fine of up to $4,000.
$1,500 to $19,999.99 is prosecuted as a state jail felony with a possible penalty of 180 days to 2 years in state jail and/or a fine of up to $10,000.
$20,000 to $99,999.99 is prosecuted as a third-degree felony with a possible penalty of 2 to 10 years in state prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000.
$100,000 to $199,999.99 is prosecuted as a second-degree felony with a possible penalty of 2 to 20 years in state prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000.
$200,000 or more is prosecuted as a first-degree felony with a possible penalty of 5 to 99 years in state prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000.
You can face more serious charges if the stolen item is a firearm. More serious penalties may result if you have prior convictions.
Additionally, it may be possible for the rightful owner of the stolen property to file a civil claim in an attempt to get the item returned or to obtain compensation.
Trust an Experienced Theft Crimes Defense Lawyer for Your Case
Since receiving stolen property is an offense that carries potential penalties that are comparable to those associated with theft, you could quite literally face decades in jail if the value of the items was significant. This is especially true for individuals who have a prior criminal record.
You need an experienced theft defense lawyer who knows what it takes to represent individuals who are facing charges of receiving stolen property. Texas natives turn to the Law Offices of Jeffrey C. Grass, as we’re well-known for delivering a strategic yet aggressive defense.
Our law firm was founded by Attorney Jeffrey C. Grass, a defense attorney who has been in practice since 1993. Attorney Grass served as a U.S. Navy Judge Advocate (JAG), in addition to achieving an AV® Preeminent Peer Review Rating from Martindale-Hubbell®. He was also named one of
the Top 100 Lawyers by the National Trial Lawyers Association.
If you or a loved one are facing a theft crime such as buying or receiving stolen property, contact the Law Offices of Jeffrey C. Grass for a fully confidential, no-cost case consultation session. Call us today at (972) 422-9999.
I needed an attorney to deal with powerful, politically well connected people who I competed with in business. These people were trying to attack and destroy my business. I needed someone who had a good moral compass not swayed by political dogma. I knew I would not go wrong with a marine from Texas. High marks across the board for the law firm of Jeffrey C Grass. He had experience with matters of this nature and the outcome was as he described it would likely be. I have not had significant trouble from those bad people any more.