Pasadena Receiving Stolen Property
In Pasadena, there are a wide variety of theft crimes with which a defendant can be charged. While most people usually think of the person who actively commits the theft as being subject to criminal penalties, a defendant can be charged criminally for receiving stolen property in violation of California Penal Code Section 496 PC.
In many cases, police and prosecutors in Pasadena may charge receiving stolen property where they know a defendant is in possession of stolen property, but cannot prove that the defendant actually was the one who stole it. By focusing on the individual who actually or constructively possesses the property in question, the prosecution may have an easier time proving guilt.
To establish that a defendant is guilty of committing a Pasadena receiving stolen property offense, the prosecution would have to establish the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:
- The defendant purchased, received, stole, concealed or possessed property that was unlawfully stolen from someone else
- AND the defendant did this while knowing that the property was stolen.
The property in question in a receiving stolen property case may have been obtained as a result of the following theft offenses:
- Pasadena petty theft – California Penal Code Section 484(a) PC
- Grand theft in Pasadena – California Penal Code Section 487 PC
- Pasadena Burglary – California Penal Code Section 459 PC
- Robbery in Pasadena – California Penal Code Section 211 PC
- Pasadena Embezzlement – California Penal Code Section 503 PC
In many cases, Pasadena receiving stolen property charges can be filed against defendants who are accused of purchasing “hot” items that they know or should reasonably know are stolen. Sometimes a person may purchase an item at an unusually cheap price. When this occurs, law enforcement and prosecutors may use this as evidence that the purchaser knew or should have known that the item was, in fact, stolen. As a result, people should be highly cautious about purchasing goods where the price seems too good to be true, because in many cases they may be opening themselves up to criminal liability under California Penal Code Section 496 PC.
When a person has been charged with a Pasadena theft offense, he or she can theoretically be charged both with the theft crime in addition to receiving stolen property. This way the prosecution can present two different theories of criminal liability to the jury. However, a person cannot be punished for both offenses. The principles set forth by California Penal Code Section 654 PC establish that a defendant can only be punished one time for any item that is stolen.
Under the law, a person who accidentally acquires property or acquires it without knowing that it is stolen would not be criminally liable for a Pasadena receiving stolen property offense. Thus if a person responds to an online ad and purchases an item at a reasonable price without knowing that the item was stolen, that person would not be guilty of this crime.
Receiving stolen property is a serious offense that can potentially be charged as a felony. Under Proposition 47, receiving stolen property is usually a misdemeanor level offense unless the value of property stolen exceeds $950. If charged as a misdemeanor, the defendant could be sentenced to up to six months in jail in addition to steep courts fines and any other conditions of probation that a judge may find appropriate. The defendant would also be expected to pay restitution for any losses suffered by the victim of the theft. If the value of the property exceeds $950, receiving stolen property is a “wobbler” that can be charged as either a felony or a misdemeanor. If charged as a felony, the defendant could potentially be sent to prison for up to three years.
If you are under investigation for receiving stolen property in Pasadena, or have been charged with this crime, it is critical that you meet with a Pasadena Criminal Defense Attorney right away. As a former Deputy District Attorney with over 14 years of prosecutorial experience, Pasadena Criminal Defense Lawyer Michael Kraut knows how to effectively defend those charged with theft offenses. Mr. Kraut previously served as a Senior Trial Prosecutor in the Pasadena Courthouse and is highly respected in Pasadena for his knowledge of the law and skills in the courtroom.
For more information about Pasadena receiving stolen property offenses, and to schedule your free consultation, contact Pasadena Criminal Defense Lawyer Michael Kraut at the Kraut Law Group located at 790 East Colorado Boulevard, 9th Floor, Pasadena, CA 91101. Mr. Kraut can be reached 24/7 at 626-345-1899.