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California Receiving Stolen Property Lawyer – Penal Code 496 PC

Should I Find A Stolen Property Lawyer For A PC 496 Charge?

California law prohibits the purchase and receipt of known stolen property.

If you or someone you know has been accused of receiving stolen property per PC 496, contact us today for a free and confidential consultation by calling My Rights Law theft attorney at (888) 702-8882 or completing our web form.

What Is A PC 496 Receiving Stolen Property Offense?

Under California law, [1] an individual can “receive” stolen property under a few different circumstances. A person receives stolen property when the person knows it came from theft or extortion.

A person also receives stolen property when the person knows it has been stolen or obtained by extortion but withholds or conceals it to deprive the property owner. Helping someone else withhold or concealing property in this way also constitutes receipt of stolen property. Stolen property may come from theft, burglary, or robbery.

Property is “received” as soon as an individual takes possession of the property in question or has the means to control it. The property doesn’t have to be in an individual’s physical custody to be “received.” A person receives it as long as the receiver can effectively control the property. Note that more than one individual may technically receive stolen property simultaneously. It doesn’t have to be within an individual’s exclusive possession or control to meet the elements of this crime.

Potential Consequences Of A PC 496 Receiving Stolen Property Conviction

Receiving stolen property is a crime that may be classified as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the unique circumstances of any particular case. This crime is a misdemeanor if the stolen property is valued at $950 or less.

If the property is worth more than this amount, the offense becomes a “wobbler.” This means that the charges levied against an offender could be classified as either a misdemeanor or a felony. Wobbler status also comes into play if the defendant is required to register as a sex offender in California or the defendant has a criminal record featuring convictions for a serious or violent felony committed in the past.

If convicted of a misdemeanor, an offender faces possible incarceration in a county jail for up to one year and a fine. Felony convictions may result in steep fines and incarceration in state prison for up to three years.

Note that a jury cannot convict you for stealing property – via theft, burglary, or robbery – and convict you of receiving stolen property if the property in question is the same. If you unlawfully take possession of property, you could be convicted of stealing that property or receiving it, but not both.

Building A Defense For Receiving Stolen Property PC496 Charges

The crime of receiving stolen property requires a specific intent. If the prosecution cannot prove that you knew the property was stolen, the prosecution won’t be able to meet all of the elements of their case. Similarly, if you didn’t intend to deprive the owner of their ownership – for example, you had permission to borrow the property – the prosecution won’t be able to meet the intent element of the crime.

Other defensive strategies could also help mitigate the conviction risk depending on your unique circumstances. For example, a case of mistaken identity could result in wrongful blame for the conduct of another. Perhaps you weren’t aware that you had the property in question or had to take it as a genuine necessity. Or perhaps you only took the property, intending to hand it over to law enforcement. We will work to build the strongest possible defense on your behalf once we are familiar with the particulars of your unique case.

What Can I Do If I Am Charged With PC 496 Receiving Stolen Property in California?

The legal penalties for receiving stolen property charges vary, so having a stolen property defense attorney on your side is crucial. Your stolen property attorney knows that the severity of the charge relates to the specific facts of your case, and how your criminal record might be affected. The value of the stolen property in question will often dictate whether the theft crimes should be charged as a felony or misdemeanor offense. So, if you are charged with committing a felony or a misdemeanor offense, get a lawyer to protect your rights from the outset.

A criminal defense attorney can help you understand the difference between felony and misdemeanor receiving stolen property charges. For example, if the personal property is worth a lot of money, then the receiver will most likely receive felony criminal charges. On the other hand, if the value of the stolen property is inexpensive, then the defendant will probably be charged with a misdemeanor offense. Any charge against you must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt in CA criminal law for you to be found guilty.

My Rights Law California Receiving Stolen Property Lawyers

There are few situations more stressful than being charged with criminal wrongdoing. The experienced legal team at My Rights Law can take a significant amount of the stress that you’re facing off your shoulders by advocating aggressively on behalf of your rights.

It is important to speak with a skilled California criminal defense lawyer as early as possible. The punishment for receiving stolen property can be as little as misdemeanor probation or four years in state prison and a $10,000 fine. The charges can be minimized with a vigorous defense – or even dismissed entirely.

If you have not yet scheduled a no-cost, confidential, risk-free consultation with our firm, please do so immediately. If you are facing accusations of criminal wrongdoing, there is no time to waste when it comes to building the strongest possible defense on your behalf.

My Rights Law represents individuals accused of receiving stolen property in violation of California Penal Code Section 496. At My Rights Law, we are committed to fighting for the rights of those who have been accused of misdemeanors and felonies alike. We represent clients throughout all of California. Contact us by calling (888) 702-8882 or leave us a message on our secure web form today for a free, confidential consultation.

FOOTNOTES
[1] California Penal Code 496a PC. See also: Williams v. Superior Court (1978) 81 Cal.App.3d 330.

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