Receiving Stolen Property
If someone gives you property that you know was obtained illegally, you could face criminal charges – even though you were not the one who actually stole the item. Laws regarding receiving stolen property are in place to deter theft and keep others from rewarding thieves. While receiving stolen property isn’t a violent crime, it’s a serious one nonetheless.
To prevent felony charges and other penalties, seek legal help from our Cincinnati theft and fraud lawyers at Luftman, Heck & Associates. Call us today at (513) 338-1890 to schedule a free consultation.
Ohio Receiving Stolen Property Law
According to Ohio Revised Code 2913.51, “[n]o person shall receive, retain, or dispose of property of another knowing or having reasonable cause to believe that the property has been obtained through commission of a theft offense.” According to this statute, receiving stolen property involves more than simply taking the property. You can be charged with a crime if you not only take it, but also keep it somewhere, hold onto it, sell it, throw it away, or get rid of it somehow. Even if you did have the property at one time but later gave it away, you could still be charged with a crime because you were in possession of the property at one time and did not alert the authorities or return the property to its rightful owner.
In order to convict you of receiving stolen property, the prosecution must prove all of the following elements:
- The property was actually stolen
- You knew the item was stolen
- There was intent to defraud the owner
Defenses to Receiving Stolen Property
If you can disprove any of the above elements, then you may have a solid defense to receiving stolen property charges. For example, if you bought an item online from Amazon or eBay and it came to you in its original box, then you would have no knowledge that the item was stolen.
If you did know an item was stolen and had it in your possession, you may have intended to return it to the owner or take it to the police. However, time is of the essence. If you hold onto the item for a long period of time before taking any action, then you may lose the opportunity to use this defense.
Penalties for Receiving Stolen Property
Depending on the item that was stolen, you could face either a misdemeanor or various degrees of felonies. Receiving stolen property that is valued under $1,000 is a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 and 180 days in jail.
If the stolen property is valued between $1,000 and $7,500, then the charge is elevated to a fifth-degree felony punishable by a fine of up to $2,500 and as long as one year of incarceration.
If the stolen property is valued between $7,500 and $150,000 or involves a firearm, drug, or motor vehicle, this is a fourth-degree felony punishable by a $5,000 fine and up to 18 months in prison.
Receiving stolen property valued at $150,000 or more is a third-degree felony, which can lead to up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
Help If You’ve Been Accused of Receiving Stolen Property
If you are accused of receiving stolen property in Ohio, you need to act quickly to protect your legal rights. This is a serious crime that can lead to felony charges, jail time, fines, a criminal record, and more.
Our Cincinnati criminal defense lawyers at Luftman, Heck & Associates can help formulate a solid defense to get your charges and penalties reduced or dropped altogether. Our aggressive representation will help you get favorable results.
Your reputation is on the line. Fight for your legal rights by contacting Luftman, Heck & Associates. To schedule your free consultation, call (513) 338-1890.