Any theft crime can be seriously punished in California. This includes acts such as:
- California Penal Code Section 484(a) & 488: Petty Theft
- California Penal Code Section 487: Grand Theft
- California Penal Code Section 487(d)(1): Grand Theft Auto
- California Penal Code Section 487j: Grand Theft Of Copper Materials
- California Penal Code Section 211: Robbery
- California Penal Code Section 459: Burglary
Individuals can even face criminal charges if they are given property stolen by someone else. This action can be prosecuted under California Penal Code Section 469(a): Receiving Stolen Property.
You can get detailed information about the legal complications associated with a PC 496(a) charge from the Simmrin Law Group.
Receiving Stolen Property: California’s Legal Definition
Individuals can be charged under PC 469(a) if they bought or otherwise acquired property that was stolen. PC 496(a) charges also apply if someone:
- Sells Stolen Property
- Conceals Stolen Property
- Withholds Stolen Property
In order to be convicted for receiving stolen property, an individual must be aware that they are handling stolen goods. Individuals may face charges if they receive property after a petty theft, grand theft, robbery, or burglary.
Receiving Stolen Property: The Penalties for a Conviction
Individuals can be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony if they are accused of receiving stolen property. Generally, the court must use misdemeanor charges if someone received stolen property worth less than $950. The penalties for a conviction under PC 496(a) can include:
Misdemeanor Charges for Receiving Stolen Property
- Jail Time: Up to 1 Year
- Fines: Up to $1,000
Felony Charges for Receiving Stolen Property
- Jail Time: Up to 3 Years
- Fines: Up to $10,000
Individuals convicted under PC 496(a) may also have to pay restitution to the legitimate owner of the stolen property.
Receiving Stolen Property: Examples
These examples demonstrate situations covered by PC 496(a):
Man A is trying to buy a car online. He finds a listing for a car he likes in his price range, and decides to purchase it. The seller is friendly enough and says he is selling his old car so he can buy a new vehicle. They complete their deal, only for the police to later show up at Man A’s house, saying that his new car was stolen. He should not face PC 496(a) charges because he was unaware he was buying stolen property.
Man B is looking to buy a firearm. He knows there is a man down the street who sells guns without a lot of fuss or paperwork. He goes to visit the seller and is offered a few guns, all with their serial numbers filed off. He buys one of the guns. He could be charged with receiving stolen property, due to the suspicious circumstances surrounding the sale of the gun.
Man C has a regular relationship with a group that steals cars. They bring him the vehicles and he helps them re-sell the vehicles to other buyers. The relationship works well for both groups, until the police notice what they are doing. Man C could be charged under PC 496(a) because he knowingly received stolen property and then helped sell it to others.
Receiving Stolen Property: Possible Legal Defenses
Accusations for a PC 496(a) violation can be difficult to successfully beat. Individuals who contact a professional Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer can increase their odds of handling these charges. Depending on the specific situation surrounding a PC 496(a) accusation, a lawyer may be able to argue:
You Received Stolen Property by Accident
Individuals must know they are receiving stolen property to be convicted under PC 496(a). If an individual is given property that they believe was legitimately acquired, they should not face a conviction for receiving stolen property.
You Are Facing False Accusations
Sometimes mistakes are made in the legal system. Individuals can be falsely accused of violating different laws, including PC 496(a). A criminal defense lawyer can go over your situation to assess the facts surrounding your case.
The courts in Los Angeles can hand down stiff penalties for a PC 496(a) conviction, so it is important that you get help right away if you are facing these charges.
Receiving Stolen Property: Getting Professional Help
Individuals in California do not have to face charges under California Penal Code Section 469(a): Receiving Stolen Property on their own. The Simmrin Law Group may be able to provide the help you need. You can contact us right now to get a FREE case evaluation.
Take control of your life after a PC 496(a) charge by completing our online contact form or calling (310) 997-4688.