Receiving stolen property means that someone intentionally received, retained, gave away or sold movable property, knowing it was stolen. For example, if you buy an iPad from a friend who told you he stole it from the store where he works, you could be arrested for receiving stolen property.
It is also a crime to obtain or sell property that you believe was probably stolen. For example, if you buy a diamond ring from a disreputable-looking street vendor even though you suspect it was probably stolen goods, you may be guilty of receiving stolen property.
Penalties For Receiving Stolen Property
Under Pennsylvania law, the seriousness of the grading for theft is based on the value of the property taken.
In most cases, if the property’s value is:
- More than $2000 — felony of the third degree, punished with up to seven years in prison and a fine up to $15,000
- $2,000 to $200 — misdemeanor of the first degree, punished with up to five years in prison and a fine up to $10,000
- $200 to $50 — misdemeanor of the second degree, punished with up to two years in prison and a fine up to $5,000
- Less than $50 — misdemeanor of the third degree, punished with up to one year in prison and a fine up to $2,500
Possible Defenses for Receiving Stolen Property
You may have a defense if you received, retained, or disposed of the property in question with the intent to restore it to its owner.
Steps To Take If You Have Been Charged
After you’ve been charged with receiving stolen property or other theft-related offenses, you’ll want to speak to and hire an attorney. He or she can represent you and build a strong defense to avoid the most severe penalties you face. A conviction of receiving stolen property will make it difficult to get a job, pass background checks, and more. A defense attorney can help protect your rights.
Don’t talk to the police or prosecutors unless your attorney is with you.
When you meet with your lawyer, tell them everything that happened both before and during your arrest. If you have information that shows you took the property intending to return it to its rightful owner, be sure to give it to your lawyer.