Receiving stolen property is a larceny offense in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Like other larceny crimes, it can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony. If you are convicted of this crime, you could be punished as severely as if you had stolen the goods. However, you may be able to fight the charges by mounting a strong defense strategy.
What Must Be Proved to Convict You of Receiving Stolen Property?
The prosecutor must prove all the elements of the offense of receiving stolen property beyond a reasonable doubt for a defendant to be found guilty. Under Virginia Code §18.2-108, the following four elements must be established:
- There was stolen goods or other property.
- The defendant bought, received, or aided in concealing the stolen items.
- The goods or property were stolen by another individual.
- The accused knew that the goods or property had been stolen when they bought, received, or aided in concealing them.
The prosecutor must often rely on circumstantial evidence unless the defendant confesses to the crime. Examples of what could be used to prove the Commonwealth’s case includes:
- The purchase price for the stolen goods was extremely low.
- The defendant had purchased, received, or aided in concealing stolen goods in the past.
- The items were bought from someone who was a known criminal.
- The goods or property purchased had security tags on them.
- If the property was a motor vehicle, it was purchased with no title to it or a broken ignition.
Penalties for Receiving Stolen Property
Whether receiving stolen property would be charged as a misdemeanor or felony would depend on the value of goods. If they were valued at less than $1,000, the crime would be petit larceny, which is a misdemeanor. If the property was worth $1,000 or more, the accused would be charged with grand larceny, which is a felony. The punishments for each are:
- Petit larceny. An individual could be sentenced to up to 12 months in jail and a fine of up $2,500.
- Grand larceny. If convicted of grand larceny, a defendant could face a prison sentence of up to 20 years and a maximum fine of $2,500.
Consult With a Criminal Defense Attorney in Virginia Today
Were you charged with receiving stolen goods? Our experienced criminal defense lawyers can help you mount a strong defense that could help you get the charges dismissed or reduced to a less serious offense. You can find out more about your options and what to expect in your criminal case by scheduling a free initial consultation. Call our Manassas office or start a live chat to set your appointment today.