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Under Title 18 Pennsylvania Consolidated Statute § 3925, receiving stolen property is defined as intentionally receiving, retaining, or disposing of another party's movable property while knowing it was stolen or believing it was probably stolen. The statute further defines "receiving" as "acquiring possession, control or title, or lending on the security of the property." This can be a misdemeanor or felony offense, and a conviction may result in heavy fines and incarceration.
While this is a potentially serious offense, an individual may have any number of understandable explanations that exonerate him or her from any wrongdoing. The burden is on prosecutors to prove that an alleged offender knowingly possessed the stolen property with no intention of returning it to the rightful owner.
If you are facing these severe charges, it is important to immediately contact an experienced criminal defense attorney. The Skinner Law Firm represents clients against theft offenses in Chester County as well as nearby communities in Delaware County, Lancaster County, and Montgomery County.
Michael J. Skinner prosecuted scores of criminal cases while working in the Chester County District Attorney’s Office, and he understands how to find weaknesses in the evidence against you. Call (610) 436-1410 to have him review your case during a free consultation.
In order to convict you of this theft offense, the prosecution will have to prove three things:
Some examples of receiving property that was stolen might include agreeing to use your property to hide goods you know another individual stole or buying goods at "too good to be true" prices from a street vendor or the back of a van. There may be other types of evidence that the prosecution uses to prove that you should have known the property was stolen, such as a seller not being able to give you a receipt because only cash payments were accepted or serial numbers, Vehicle Identification Numbers (VINs), or other identifying marks having been removed from the property.
The level of the offense for this crime in Pennsylvania is determined by the value of the property that was stolen:
Despite the serious nature of these charges, there are numerous defenses that can result in reduced or dismissed charges. Some possible defenses can include, but are not limited to:
You should contact an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible if you have been charged with a theft offense. The Skinner Law Firm fights all types of criminal charges for clients in the Boroughs of West Chester in Chester County, and surrounding areas like Media in Delaware County, Lancaster in Lancaster County, and Norristown in Montgomery County.
As a former Assistant District Attorney of Chester County, Michael J. Skinner has unparalleled experience with criminal cases. He can review your case and begin developing a strong defense when you call (610) 436-1410 to schedule a free, confidential consultation.