Possessing or Buying Stolen Property

stolen property Possessing or Buying Stolen PropertyUnsurprisingly, the act of larceny (commonly known as theft) is a crime punishable under Nevada law. Larceny simply means intentionally stealing/taking and carrying away the property of another, with the intent to permanently deprive the owner of that property. Grand larceny may be charged if the stolen property is valued at $650 or more (NRS 205. 220). Alternatively, the crime of petit larceny may result if the property is valued at less than $650 (NRS 205.2240). But did you know that it is also a crime to possess stolen property?

Stolen Property Example

Scooter Rapido is walking down Fremont Street when he sees a young woman standing next to a shiny, red moped. It is the moped of his dreams. She sees him eyeing it and offers to sell the moped to Scooter for a great deal. He begins to negotiate and finally comes to the price of $100. The deal is too good to be true. Scooter exchanges the money for the moped and begins riding down the street with a huge smile on his face, until Metro pulls him over. Has Scooter committed a crime? Unfortunately, Scooter may have just been the recipient of stolen property.

Buying or Receiving Stolen Property

According to NRS 205.275, “a person commits an offense involving stolen property, if the person, for his or her gain or to prevent the owner from again possessing the owner’s property, buys, receives, possesses, or withholds property knowing it was stolen property, or under the circumstances as should have caused a reasonable person to know that it is stolen property.” To put it simply, a person may be guilty of this offense if they have actual knowledge that they purchased/received stolen property or, if under the circumstances, a reasonable person would have known that the property was stolen.

Think about our hypothetical above. Did Scooter know that the moped was stolen? No. Should Scooter have known the moped was stolen? Maybe. Here, we must consider whether under the circumstances, a reasonable person would have known buying a shiny, red moped for $100 was too good to be true. In analyzing these facts, one thing a judge and jury might consider is the fair market value of the moped. Making this determination is not always easy and is exactly why it is imperative to hire an experienced criminal lawyer if you have been charged with this crime.

The Penalty for Stolen Property

Pursuant to NRS 205.275(6), “the value of the property involved shall be deemed to be the highest value attributable to the property by any reasonable standard.” In other words, a prosecutor may value the stolen property at the highest, reasonable value available.

Property Valued at Less than $650

Possessing or receiving stolen property that has value less than $650 is a misdemeanor in Nevada (NRS 205.275). The punishment can include restitution, up to six months in jail, and/or a fine up to $1,000.

Property Valued Between $650 and $3,500

Possessing or receiving stolen property that is valued at $650 or more, but less than $3,500, is a category C felony (NRS 205.275). The sentence may include restitution, one to five years in state prison, and/or a fine of up to $10,000.

Property Valued in Excess of $3,500

Possessing or receiving stolen property that is valued at $3,500 or more is a category B felony. The sentence can include restitution, one to ten years in state prison, and/or a fine of up to $10,000.

Charged with Possessing Stolen Property?

If you have been charged with Possession Of Stolen Property, or any other theft-related crime, it is imperative that you have an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side. As discussed above, these charges can vary in consequence based on the value determined by the prosecutor and whether the prosecutor thinks you knew the property was stolen. Give us a call at Almase Law because we will be in your corner to fight these charges every step of the way.