Should I preemptively turn myself in to get reduced charges? 1 Answers as of July 08, 2015

Several months ago, I found an iPhone. It was locked. I brought it home and it sat for months, no calls made to it or anything. No one was trying to get it back. Last week, I started having money problems and I remembered this iPhone I happen to have. I decide to reset it to factory settings, list it on Craigslist and try to make some money. A woman agrees to buy it, we meet, she pays me and we go our separate ways. A few hours later, she texts me and tells me it was stolen and she is going to give my info to the police. I text her back to arrange to give her the money back and to go with her to the police to explain what happened in full. She ignores me. Should I just go to the two precincts/departments I think she may contact and preemptively get ahead of this? The last thing I want is to be charged with selling stolen goods. I thought it was abandoned/forgotten. If I am proactive, will that help my situation?

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Rothstein Law PLLC | Eric Rothstein
As the finder of the phone you had a legal duty to try and find the owner or turn it over to the police. You are subject to being arrested for petit larceny, a Class A misdemeanor. Voluntarily going to the police will not change that. I suggest that you make no statements to the police and hire a good criminal defense lawyer to try and mitigate your situation.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 7/8/2015
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