The crime of receiving stolen property is a relatively straightforward concept. If you purchase or receive stolen property, even if you didn’t know that it was stolen, you could be charged with the crime of receiving stolen property. Receiving stolen property is a felony and the penalties for being convicted are up to five years in the State Penitentiary, a fine of up to $500 or both. And you don’t even have to purchase the goods. If you merely agree to store the merchandise on the property you rent or own, you could be found to have received stolen property and charged with the crime.
All US states currently have laws on the books that make it a serious crime to receive stolen property. Oklahoma adds the twist that a purchaser is required to make a “reasonable inquiry” as to whether or not the goods were stolen. Now that’s not to say that you have to inquire as to the origination of the goods you purchase from a Walmart or other reputable retail store. There is a presumption that a vendor with a retail presence in the community are operating on the up and up. But when purchasing goods from an individual in a private transaction, exercising a little common sense will go a long way and maybe keep you out of prison.
If you purchase or store merchandise as a result of a private transaction with another person in Oklahoma you are required to make a “reasonable inquiry” as to whether the goods you are purchasing have been stolen. When is comes to electronics where there is an active secondary market, it would be hard to argue that you didn’t suspect that the goods were stolen if someone is selling a brand new model of computer or smart phone at a huge discount from the retail price. On the other hand, if a newer model of the computer has recently come out it might be reasonable to assume that a seller might be selling an older used model in order to upgrade to the newer model. A similar case could be made for buying furniture, home tools, or clothing. If the goods appear to be used, there’s a good chance that the seller is legitimate. A person using an online service like eBay or craigslist and is selling brand new merchandise at huge discounts is a perfect example of one who should be suspected of trafficking in stolen property in Oklahoma.
The Oklahoma criminal code defines the crime of receiving stolen property in Title 21. Crimes and Punishments, as “Every person who buys or receives, in any manner, upon any consideration, any personal property of any value whatsoever that has been stolen, embezzled, obtained by false pretense or robbery, knowing or having reasonable cause to believe the same to have been stolen, embezzled, obtained by false pretense, or robbery, or who conceals, withholds, or aids in concealing or withholding such property from the owner, shall be guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment in the State Penitentiary not to exceed five (5) years, or in the county jail not to exceed one (1) year, or by a fine not to exceed Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00) or by both such fine and imprisonment.”
Get a Free Consultation; Charged With Receiving Stolen Property in Tulsa?
If you or a loved one has been charged with receiving stolen property, you should immediately call us. We are experienced Tulsa Oklahoma Criminal Defense Attorneys and we can help you to prepare a defense to the charges of receiving stolen property that you may be facing.