What are the Consequences of Possession of Stolen Property?

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  • Written By: N. Madison
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 20 March 2020
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The typical consequences of possession of stolen property are jail or prison time and fines. How long someone who is convicted will have to stay in prison and how high the fine is can depend on a number of circumstances, but the value of the property may be taken into account. The penalties a person faces also typically depend on whether or not he has a criminal record and any complicating circumstances that occurred when he committed the crime.

In many jurisdictions, a person is guilty of possession of stolen property if two conditions are met: he must not only receive the stolen property, but he must also know that the items he received were stolen. If he was unaware that they were stolen, he cannot be charged with a crime in many jurisdictions.

Someone convicted of receiving stolen property will likely face monetary fines or jail time. The fine applied often depends on the value of the stolen property the individual had in his possession. This value may influence the amount of jail time he will have to serve as well. If a person is convicted of a minor charge, which is referred to as a misdemeanor in many jurisdictions, he may receive a sentence of up to a year in prison. Depending on the jurisdiction and the unique details of the case, an individual may face both fines and prison.


In some cases, the crime is considered a felony offense, which is typically the most serious type of offense a person can commit. If convicted of felony possession of stolen property, a person may be sent to a local jail or serve a sentence in a regional prison instead. Felony sentences are typically longer than those given for misdemeanor stolen property charges.

The penalties a person may face can depend on the unique circumstances of the case. If the accused person has a criminal record, he may face stiffer penalties. He may also face higher fines or longer sentencing if he committed another type of crime while in possession of stolen property.


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Post 1

I do believe in most jurisdictions the requirement is that the accused received property that he either knew or should have known was stolen. And "received" can mean someone took possession or that one actually concealed or aided in concealment of the property.

Confusing? Welcome to the wacky, wonderful world of the law!

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