In New Jersey, an allegation of receiving stolen property requires a significant amount of inference, perhaps more than in other cases, because the State must prove that you knowingly received or transported stolen property, or that you reasonably should have known that the property was stolen. The stolen property in these cases is highly variable, encompassing items ranging from air conditioners to handbags, appliances, and even vehicles. As such, the degree of these charges can vary significantly, determined primarily by the estimated value of the property involved in a given case. Often, prosecutors will call upon “evidence” such as the price that you paid for the property, the condition of the property upon receipt, the circumstances of the sale, or the property seller, to support their contention. However, with the vagueness that surrounds these charges, it can be difficult for the State to fulfill its burden of proof, offering a skilled defense attorney a host of opportunities to undermine their arguments.
When confronting charges for receiving stolen property, your existing criminal record (if any), prior convictions for the same offense, and frankly, your moral character, are at issue. At The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall, we refuse to allow the trier of the fact to rely on weak and circumstantial evidence when prosecuting our clients. In fact, our lawyers utilize their experience as former County and Municipal prosecutors to successfully defend clients charged with receiving stolen property in court rooms across New Jersey. With over 100 years of combined experience on both sides of the New Jersey Justice System, our unique insight allows us to formulate the most thorough and effective defense strategies, which we use to benefit our clients facing charges ranging from driving while intoxicated to criminal homicide. For a free comprehensive consultation about your case, contact our Bridgewater offices anytime at 908-722-1011.
Receiving Stolen Property in New Jersey: N.J.S.A. 2C:20-7
Offenses that constitute receiving stolen property are detailed in section N.J.S.A. 2C:20-7 of the New Jersey Criminal Code, which provides:
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:
- 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 had a legal right to possess and dispose of it; or
- Is found in possession of two or more defaced access devices.
Penalties for Receiving Stolen Property in New Jersey
Receiving stolen property charges are subject to gradation based on the estimated value of the property associated with the alleged offense. As a result, these charges can range from disorderly persons offenses, which are adjudicated at the local Municipal Court, to second degree indictable felonies, which are heard at the county Superior Court and may result in a prison sentence of up to 10 years.
Specifically, receiving stolen property charges are classified according to the following provisions:
- Second Degree Receiving Stolen Property Charges:
- The stolen property is valued at $75,000 or more
- Punishable by a New Jersey State Prison term ranging from 5 to 10 years
- Third Degree Receiving Stolen Property Charges:
- The stolen property is valued between $500 and $75,000
- Punishable by a New Jersey State Prison term ranging from 3 to 5 years
- Fourth Degree Receiving Stolen Property Charges:
- The stolen property is valued between $200 and $500
- Punishable by a New Jersey State Prison term of 18 months
- Disorderly Persons Receiving Stolen Property Charges:
- The stolen property is valued at less than $200
- Punishable by a maximum sentence of 6 months in the county jail
Contact our Somerset County NJ Receiving Stolen Property Attorneys
If you or a loved one is under investigation, charged with, or indicted for receiving stolen property in Somerset or Hunterdon counties or elsewhere in New Jersey, The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall is prepared to walk you through every phase of the legal process in pursuit of a positive outcome. Our extensive experience within New Jersey’s legal system has provided us with coveted knowledge and resources, the results of which have been countless court room victories across the State. For additional information and a free consultation, contact our offices in Somerset County at 908 722-1011.