Beverly Hills Receiving Stolen Property
Beverly Hills thefts crimes can encompass a wide variety of criminal activity. When considering theft offenses, people tend to focus on the act of actually stealing property belonging to someone else. However, a person can also be criminally liable when he or she did not take the item but ultimately came into possession of it. The crime of receiving stolen property is a potential felony under California Penal Code Section 496 PC and those convicted can face extensive penalties.
Charges for receiving stolen property are popular with prosecutors, as there are many theft cases where a defendant is caught in possession of stolen property but there is insufficient evidence that the defendant was the one who took the property. The People can make sure that the defendant does not avoid prosecution in these situations by pursuing charges of receiving stolen property.
To establish that a defendant is guilty of a Beverly Hills receiving stolen property offense, a Deputy District Attorney from the Airport Branch of the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office would have to prove the following elements:
- The defendant was in possession of, bought, concealed or otherwise received property that was unlawfully taken from someone else without consent
- AND when the defendant possessed or purchased the property, he or she did so with the knowledge that the property was, in fact, stolen.
Receiving stolen property offenses in Beverly Hills are often closely associated with other theft crimes, including the following offenses:
- Petty Theft in Beverly Hills - California Penal Code Section 484(a) PC
- Grand Theft in Beverly Hills - California Penal Code Section 487 PC
- Beverly Hills Burglary - California Penal Code Section 459 PC
- Beverly Hills Robbery - California Penal Code Section 211 PC
- Embezzlement in Beverly Hills- California Penal Code Section 503 PC
A key element that the prosecutor must prove to convict a defendant of receiving stolen property is that the defendant had knowledge that the property in question was stolen. To prove this, the People must often rely on circumstantial evidence. This can include evidence that the price paid for an item was unusually low which would indicate that the defendant knew that the item was likely stolen. Because prosecutors and law enforcement rely on this presumption, one should always be cautious whenever buying goods from an unknown vendor where the price seems too good to be genuine.
When prosecuting a defendant for a Beverly Hills theft offense, it is not unusual for the prosecutor to amend the complaint and add charges of receiving stolen property. By doing this, the prosecutor can argue alternate theories of guilt to the jury when trying the case. However, a defendant who is ultimately convicted cannot be punished twice for the same theft under California Penal Code Section 654 PC.
If the defendant can show that he or she did not actually know that the item in his or her possession was stolen, he or she would not be criminally liable under the receiving stolen property statute. A good faith purchaser of what ultimately turned out to be stolen property could raise this defense if charged criminally.
Under the newly adopted Proposition 47, receiving stolen property is a misdemeanor level offense when the property at issue was worth $950 or less. The maximum penalty that a defendant could face upon conviction is six months in jail in addition to compensating the victim for his or her losses.
Receiving stolen property is a “wobbler” crime when the property at issue has a value in excess of $950. In these cases, a Deputy District Attorney may file the case as either a felony or a misdemeanor. If the prosecutors opts for felony charges, the maximum penalty that can be imposed is a prison sentence of up to three years. If misdemeanor charges are filed, the maximum penalty would be a year in jail.
If you or someone you know has been accused of receiving stolen property, it is very important that you consult with a Beverly Hills Criminal Defense Lawyer as soon as possible. Beverly Hills Criminal Defense Attorney Michael Kraut is a former Deputy District Attorney with over 14 years of prosecutorial experience who puts his in-depth knowledge of the law and impressive litigation skills to use in defending clients who have been charged with Beverly Hills theft offenses.
For more information about Beverly Hills receiving stolen property, and to schedule your free consultation, contact Beverly Hills Criminal Defense Attorney Michael Kraut at the Kraut Law Group located at 8484 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 660B, Beverly Hills, CA 90211-3220. Mr. Kraut can be reached 24/7 at 310-550-6935.