What Is a Purchase of Stolen Property Charge in California?

If you buy something that you know was stolen and you’re caught, did you know that you could be charged with a crime? If the police suggest that you’re going to be charged with this kind of crime, you need support from a lawyer immediately.

Have you recently been accused of purchasing stolen property? It’s important to retain the services of a defense attorney to begin crafting a defense strategy immediately. Understanding California’s penal code section 496(a) is important if you have been accused of receiving stolen property. Receiving stolen property laws in California officially make it a crime to conceal, buy, receive, sell or withhold from the owner any property that you know to be stolen.

Depending on the circumstances of this allegation, a conviction can lead to felony or misdemeanor penalties. Stolen property also means property that has been stolen in any way, including under California’s laws for petty theft, embezzlement or grand theft.

Since this crime can be charged either as a misdemeanor or a felony, it is important to consider whether or not there are aggravating circumstances or issues in your criminal record past that could influence the outcome of such a case. Misdemeanor penalties for receiving stolen property include paying a fine of up to $1000 and as long as a year in county jail.

If you have been accused of receiving stolen property charged as a felony, possible ramifications include a fine of as high as $10,000 and up to three years in county jail. Some of the most common defense strategies for these kinds of allegations include arguing that you didn’t know you possessed a stolen property, that you didn’t know the property was stolen to begin with, that you intended to return the property to the police or to the owner when you acquired it or voluntary intoxication. Make sure you talk through your options with your lawyer.