The New Jersey Criminal Code sets forth an entirely separate theft offense known as receiving stolen property. This violation applies whenever someone takes control of property which they know or reasonably should know was stolen. Although those charged with this offense often take it lightly, this is clearly in error as the vast majority of receiving stolen property offenses are felonies that involve exposure to 18 months in state prison or more. If you would like experienced legal assistance, call our Newark criminal defense firm for a free consultation. We possess a team of former prosecutors and other skilled attorneys with over 100 years of collective experience.
Bloomfield NJ Receiving Stolen Property Lawyers
N.J.S.A. 2C:20-7: Receiving Stolen Property
The New Jersey receiving stolen property law is contained at N.J.S.A. 2C:20-7 and is included within the category of theft and related offenses. N.J.S.A. 2C:20-7 provides that:
a. Receiving. A person is guilty of theft if he knowingly receives or brings into this State movable property of another knowing that it has been stolen, or believing that it is probably stolen. It is an affirmative defense that the property was received with purpose to restore it to the owner. “Receiving” means acquiring possession, control or title, or lending on the security of the property.
b. Presumption of knowledge. The requisite knowledge or belief is presumed in the case of a person who:
(1) Is found in possession or control of two or more items of property stolen on two or more separate occasions; or
(2) Has received stolen property in another transaction within the year preceding the transaction charged; or
(3) Being a person in the business of buying or selling property of the sort received, acquires the property without having ascertained by reasonable inquiry that the person from whom he obtained it had a legal right to possess and dispose of it; or
(4) Is found in possession of two or more defaced access devices; or
(5) Is found in possession of property of a cargo carrier without proper documentation or other evidence of right to possession.
This law translates into a criminal offense with three (3) elements: (1) knowing receipt of movable property; (2) that was stolen; and (3) knowledge that the property was either stolen or probably stolen. As to the third element, the mere fact that the property was stolen does not suffice as there must be actual knowledge that it was stolen or, alternatively, surrounding circumstances (e.g. conduct, words, etc.) that should have led the accused to believe that is was more likely than not that the property was stolen.
Grading Of A Receiving Stolen Property Offense
The severity of a receiving stolen property charge hinges, just like most theft offenses, on the value of the property involved. If the value of the stolen property is more than $500, then the charge is a third degree crime. When the property is worth at least $200 but does not exceed $500, the offense is a fourth degree crime. Receipt of stolen property with a value of less than $200 is a disorderly persons offense.
Penalties for Receiving Stolen Property
Third degree receiving stolen property carries a maximum fine of $15,000 and up to five (5) years in prison. The maximum fine is $10,000 and potential state prison term is 18 months for fourth degree receiving stolen property. It is a disorderly persons offense to receive stolen property with a value of less than $200.
Fairfield NJ Receiving Stolen Property Defense Lawyers
Our Newark Office defends those charge with receiving stolen property throughout Essex County, including in the Superior Court and all municipal courts. If you were arrested in Newark, Belleville, Montclair, South Orange, East Orange, Cedar Grove or another town in Essex County, we can help you avoid a conviction and the penalties that come with such an outcome. Call us anytime 24/7 at 973-710-1520 to speak to an experienced defense attorney.