What can I do if I was charged for receiving stolen property? 10 Answers as of February 27, 2012

Apparently an acquaintance of a friend of mine had his house raided where all the occupants were arrested for a multitude of theft related charges. And my friend who learned of the raid the day after but who was not involved with any of the occupants’ criminal behavior nor knew of their activities, decided that he would go to that residence and retrieve his rightfully owned property that he loaned to one of the arrested parties was then subsequently arrested while retrieving his property. Even though he explained to the arresting officer that he was there to retrieve his items before they were gathered in evidence. He was then arrested and charged with receiving stolen property. He does have a criminal history but not for the last 12 years. He was bailed but now is facing a prison term even though he was not part of the other parties’ criminal activity. How do you foresee this case pertaining to my friend? Is it possible he will just pay a fine or receive probation

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Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider
Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider | Peter Goldscheider
I cannot forecast a case from a description of the facts without a police report, talking to the client and perhaps conducting a separate investigation. Your friend needs to retain an experienced criminal law specialist.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 2/27/2012
Law Offices of Martina A. Vigil, PC
Law Offices of Martina A. Vigil, PC | Martina A. Vigil
It is hard to predict sentencing especially with the limited facts you gave. However, your friend could possibly be found guilty of a felony which carries a penalty of more than 365 days in State Prison. However, from the facts you have given, it seems as if there was a mistake and your friend didn't actually steal anything. In that case, it is especially important for him to hire a criminal defense attorney. A felony conviction for a theft offense is brutal on your reputation. Most people find it very difficult to find employment after a theft conviction.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 2/27/2012
Nelson & Lawless
Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
What to do? Defend the charges? foresee this case? The honest answer is that no attorney can predict the outcome, nor even give an intelligent opinion, without reviewing and knowing all the charges, evidence, police reports, testimony, priors history, etc. He'll learn the actual charge[s] and enhancements filed and get copies of all the police reports and results when appearing for arraignment at the first court hearing. The prosecutors can amend at any time they believe they can prove additional or different charges. The charges determine how much time and fines could potentially be imposed if convicted. In California, if convicted of any felony, you potentially face a minimum of one or more years in prison, plus fines; on any misdemeanor, you potentially face up to 12 months in jail, plus fines. Multiple counts and charges will multiply your problems. If you have priors and strikes, those will add penalty enhancements under the 3-Strikes rules. Of course he can fight the charges. When arrested or charged with any crime, the proper questions are, can any evidence obtained in a test, search or confession be used against you, can you be convicted, and what can you do? Raise all appropriate defenses with whatever witnesses, evidence and sympathies are available for legal arguments, for evidence suppression or other motions, or for trial. If you don't know how to represent yourself effectively against an experienced prosecutor intending to convict, then hire an attorney that does, who will try to get a dismissal, diversion program, reduction, or other decent outcome through plea bargain, or take it to trial if appropriate.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 2/24/2012
Law Office of Jared C. Winter
Law Office of Jared C. Winter | Jared C. Winter
Anything is possible. The outcome (and plea offers) in most criminal cases is driven by 1) the strength of the evidence and 2) the defendant's criminal history. The court, and often even the particular DA, will also have a major impact on what might happen. That's why your friend needs an experienced criminal defense attorney at his side. Good luck.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 2/24/2012
Law Office of Jeff Yeh
Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
First of all, your friend's situation mirrors that of thousands of other defendants accused of this charge. Just know that the prosecutor will have heard this story enough times that you won't even need to finish the story after one sentence because the DA can finish the rest for you. Your friend needs to hire a competent defense attorney ASAP before he talks more and incriminates himself further.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 2/24/2012
    Attorney at Law | Ernest Krause
    No one can foresee your friend's case even if you had presented lots more facts. He will have a public defender or other attorney who will eventually, after considering evidence, more or less foresee something.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/24/2012
    Law Office of Daniel K Martin
    Law Office of Daniel K Martin | Daniel K Martin
    Anything is possible this case is proof that our system is not perfect. Anyone can be charged with any crime and many people have been wrongfully convicted. Your friend should hire the beet lawyer he can afford as soon as possible or he may lose more than his property he can lose his freedom.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/24/2012
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg | Eric Sterkenburg
    For a person to be convicted or receiving stolen property the state has to prove that the property was stolen and that the person charged knew the property was stolen. If this cannot be proven beyond a reasonable doubt then that person will not be convicted and will go free. If there is some reason to believe that this can be proven then the best way to proceed may be to work out a plea bargain. Under the facts that you laid out the best result this person should receive in a plea bargain is three years probation and a fine. This person should without delay get an attorney. The outcome of the case will be better for him than could ever happen without an attorney. He should not ever talk with any one about this case without his attorney present.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/24/2012
    Law Office of Anthony Sessa
    Law Office of Anthony Sessa | Anthony Sessa
    First thing to do is not go to court without a lawyer. Many times these kinds of cases can be defeated and dismissed if you invest in an experienced criminal defense attorney.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/24/2012
    Dennis Roberts, a P.C.
    Dennis Roberts, a P.C. | Dennis Roberts
    It will either be dumped if his lawyer can explain and prove it to the DA OR he will get time because of his prior.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/24/2012
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