Trenton NJ Receiving Stolen Property Lawyers
With Offices in Trenton and Pennington, New Jersey
Sometimes, a deal is too good to be true. That stereo system or television set you bought for 10 cents on the dollar could have significant repercussions if turns out to be stolen. In an effort to discourage people from conducting transactions that involve property that has been illegally obtained, New Jersey lawmakers criminalized the receipt of stolen property. Additionally, although NJ law enforcement typically focuses on the individuals who commit thefts, they will not hesitate to arrest anyone they believe has knowingly purchased stolen property. In fact, you can even be placed under arrest simply for being in possession of stolen property.
Kamensky Cohen & Riechelson is a law firm that has been serving clients in New Jersey and Pennsylvania since 1972. During that time, our criminal defense lawyers have successfully represented countless clients charged with receiving stolen property throughout Mercer County, including Hightstown, Pennington, and East Windsor. We understand the nuances of NJ theft law and know how to challenge the prosecution in these cases. Call KCR today to begin your defense.
N.J.S.A. 2C:20-7: Receiving Stolen Property Charges in Mercer County
Receiving stolen property is prohibited by New Jersey law. The offense is governed under N.J.S.A. 2C:20-7. As set forth by the statute, a person is guilty of theft they knowingly receive or bring into the State of New Jersey movable property that belongs to another person and they know that it has been stolen or believe that it has probably been stolen.
The statute defines “receiving” broadly so that it includes acquiring possession, control, title, or lending on the security of the property. Moreover, “possession” can mean either actual possession or constructive possession. If the stolen property was near you and you had the ability to exercise dominion or control over it, you may be charged under the statute because you constructively possessed the property.
The “Knowledge” Element: Knew or Should Have Known the Property Was Stolen
One of the elements that the prosecution must prove in a receiving stolen property case is that the defendant knew the property was stolen. However, proving knowledge becomes less difficult in certain situations because the statute stipulates that knowledge will be presumed when:
- The defendant is found in possession or control of two or more items of property stolen on two or more separate occasions.
- The defendant has received stolen property in another transaction occurring within one year preceding the current charge.
- The defendant is a person who is in the business of buying and selling property of the kind received in the transaction and failed to make a reasonable inquiry into whether the seller had a legal right to possess and dispose of the property.
- The defendant is found in possession of two or more defaced access devices.
The court can also infer that you should have known the property was stolen if the property was in a damaged condition or appeared to be stolen, the property was acquired from an unscrupulous individual who was known to traffic in stolen goods, or the property was purchased for an extremely low price.
Penalties for Receiving Stolen Property in Princeton NJ
The penalties for receiving stolen property are determined by the value of the stolen property.
- $75,000 or More: Second degree felony, punishable by 5–10 years in New Jersey State Prison and a $150,000 fine.
- $500–$75,000: Third degree felony, punishable by 3–5 years in New Jersey State Prison and a $15,000 fine.
- $200–$500: Fourth degree felony, punishable by up to 18 months in New Jersey State Prison and a $10,000 fine.
- Less than $200: Disorderly persons offense, punishable by up to 6 months in the local county jail.
If you are charged with second degree receiving stolen property, there will be a presumption of incarceration. However, since the value of the property determines the range of penalties, your attorney might be able to get the charges downgraded by showing that the property has a lower value.
Call Lawrence NJ Receiving Stolen Property Attorneys
The criminal defense attorneys at Kamensky Cohen & Riechelson are ready to assist you with your theft case and help you avoid a prison sentence simply for being in possession of stolen property. Call us now to discuss your charges, or email us to schedule a free consultation at our Pennington or Trenton offices.