Not only is it a crime in the state of New Jersey to steal or unlawfully take the property of another, it is also a punishable crime to receive stolen property under certain circumstances, circumstances, which, if you are landing on this page, you are probably most curious about. The relevant statute is N.J.S.A. 2C:20-7, which states that 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.” For the purposes of this statute, receiving means “acquiring possession, control or title, or lending on the security of the property.” The offense of receiving stolen property can be either a second, third or fourth degree felony or even a disorderly persons offense (misdemeanor) depending on the underline facts of the case. The Law Office of Jonathan F. Marshall has been defending individuals charged with receiving stolen property, theft by deception, shoplifting, carjacking, armed robbery and burglary in Morris County for over fifteen years. Our office has the experience and skill set required to successfully defend your rights. If you or a loved one has been charged with receiving stolen property in towns like Boonton, Dover, Denville, Parsippany, Montville, Rockaway, Jefferson or Madison, we can help. If you would like to set up a free initial consultation, please contact our Morristown office directly at 973-309-7050. Now here is some key information on the charge of receiving stolen property in New Jersey, including what exactly the State must prove beyond a reasonable doubt in order to obtain a conviction as well.
Morris County NJ Receiving Stolen Property Defense Attorneys
An easy defense to this type of charge would seem to be that you did not have knowledge about the property in question was in fact stolen. However, recognizing this obvious loophole, the law recognizes a certain series of presumptions that help the state prove their case against an accused. As written, the statute reads that the requisite knowledge or belief is presumed in the case of a person who:
- Is found in possession or control of two or more items of property stolen on two or more separate occasions; or
- Has received stolen property in another transaction within the year preceding the transaction charged; or
- 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 has a legal right to possess and dispose of it (pawn shop owner rule); or
- Is found in possession of two or more defaced access devices; or
- Is found in possession of property of a cargo carrier without proper documentation or other evidence of right to possession.
With all this said, though, there are a number of defenses that may be offered on your behalf. The main affirmative defense that may be offered is that you received the property with the purpose of restoring it to its rightful owner. As this will not always be the case, it will fall upon your defense attorney to attack each element of the crime. The first and most obvious thing that will need to be assessed is whether or not the property in question is in fact stolen. If the property is not stolen then the state will have no case. Next, it will be asked whether you took the property knowingly. As stated above, the presumptions help to establish this element of the crime, but they do not cover all circumstances and a good attorney will be able to attack this element of the crime.
Will I go to Jail if I am Convicted of Receiving Stolen Property in NJ?
The gradation of the offense, assuming the state can prove its case, is directly related to the value of the property that is stolen. A disorderly persons offense occurs where the value of the property taken is less than $200. This is the only time that this offense is a misdemeanor, though, and all other grades of the offense could lead to significant jail time and large fines. A fourth degree offense occurs when the value of the property is between $200 and $500. This could lead to a jail term of up to 18 months. A third degree offense occurs where the value of the property taken is between $500 and $75,000. This could lead to jail time of between 3 and 5 years. A second degree offense occurs where the value of the property is over $75,000. This is the most serious offense and can lead to a period of incarceration for up to 10 years.
Roxbury Receiving Stolen Property Lawyers
Needless to say, where you or a loved one has been charged with this serious crime in Morris County, you cannot afford to face this charge alone. Here at the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall, we have over 100 years of collective experience defending against criminal charges, including receiving stolen property charges, in Morris County. Our team of eight attorneys, consisting of a number of former prosecutors, stand ready to help you in your time of need. So please, if you or a loved one has been charged with this crime in Morris County, do not hesitate to contact us at one of our conveniently located offices for a free consultation with an experienced attorney about the particulars of your case.