Helping Clients Defend against Charges of Receiving Stolen Property in Haddonfield, New Jersey
Merely receiving or possessing of stolen property in New Jersey can open you up to a criminal charge under N.J.S.A. 2C:20-7—and potentially, to a criminal conviction. If you are charged with receiving stolen property, it is absolutely essential that you become aware of the potential penalties upon conviction and that you have a skilled criminal defense attorney advocating for you in the courtroom—and throughout all of your criminal court proceedings.
New Jersey stolen property defense attorney Matthew V. Portella understands that a conviction can leave a lifelong impact on your record and can present personal and professional consequences for years to come. Let Matthew V. Portella protect your legal rights while you are pending trial and set to work on defending you in your criminal matter today.
What Does It Mean to Receive Stolen Property in New Jersey?
In New Jersey, receiving stolen property is a serious criminal offense, and a conviction opens the door to potential penalties and fines being assessed against you. In a stolen property case, as with all New Jersey criminal cases, a prosecutor must demonstrate each and every element of your criminal charge beyond a reasonable doubt. If the criminal prosecutor fails in this regard, your stolen property case might be dismissed. The legal elements of proof for receipt of stolen property are:
- That you knew you received property from someone else in the State of New Jersey (or that you brought the property into New Jersey)
- That you knew—or that you reasonably believed—that the subject property was stolen
In order to receive stolen property, the accused must acquire some degree of control, title, or possession over the subject property. The “receipt” element could also be met if you lent on the property’s security.
A potential defense to a receipt of stolen property charge, therefore, is that you did not know that the subject property that you possessed was stolen. You could also allege that you had no basis for suspecting that the subject property in your possession was stolen. Finally, if your reason for receiving the subject property was to restore the property to its true owner, you may have a valid legal defense to your charge.
Any of these defenses, if asserted at trial, could potentially lead to a dismissal of your criminal charge—and of your case as a whole.
Presuming Receipt and Knowledge
Receipt and knowledge are two essential elements to the New Jersey crime of receiving stolen property. The state prosecutor must demonstrate that you received the property and that you knew the property was stolen. However, in certain instances, the law will presume that the accused received the subject property while knowing (or reasonably believing) that it was stolen. Those instances include the following:
- The accused is found by police or investigators to possess two or more access devices which have been defaced
- The accused is found to have two or more property items in his or her control or possession which had been stolen on at least two different occasions
- The accused is someone who professionally buys or sells the type of property he or she is accused of receiving, but did not take reasonable measures to discover that the property grantor had a legal right to dispose of—or possess—the subject property in the first place
- That the accused, in another transaction within the preceding 12 months, received some item of stolen property
In any of these instances, the accused could still be charged with—and potentially convicted of—receiving stolen property. If you are accused of taking part in any of these activities, reach out to Haddonfield, New Jersey, stolen property defense lawyer Matthew V. Portella for legal help with your case today.
What Are the Potential Penalties for Possessing or Receiving Stolen Property in New Jersey?
New Jersey does not take receipt of stolen property convictions lightly. That is one reason why you want an experienced criminal defense lawyer advocating for you throughout your criminal case.
The seriousness of the criminal penalty that a sentencing judge imposes upon conviction usually depends upon the value of the subject property forming the basis of your criminal charge. Potential penalties upon being convicted of receiving stolen property include the following:
- Between five and ten years of incarceration, along with a maximum fine of $150,000, if the value of the subject property exceeds $75,000
- Between three and five years of incarceration, along with a maximum fine of $15,000, if the value of the subject property exceeds $500 but is less than $75,000
- 18 months of incarceration, along with a maximum fine of $10,000, if the value of the subject property is between $200 and $500
In addition to being sentenced to any of the penalties above, you will almost certainly face personal consequences resulting from a receipt of stolen property conviction in New Jersey. A criminal record can make it much harder for you to land a job, go to school, or find a decent place to live. This is because criminal conviction records are easily accessible over the internet. You will also likely suffer shame and embarrassment among family members and friends.
Our criminal defense lawyer Matthew V. Portella will review the potential conviction penalties with you and may be able to take measures to reduce those penalties, as well as the personal consequences that might be associated with a criminal conviction.
Call a Haddonfield Criminal Defense Attorney Today if You Stand Accused of Receiving Stolen Property
If you are pending trial in New Jersey for receiving stolen property, Haddonfield attorney Matthew V. Portella is your go-to lawyer for experienced criminal representation. Attorney Portella has 25 years of criminal defense experience and is ready to lend his knowledge and litigation skills to your criminal case. To schedule a free consultation or case evaluation, please call the Law Office of Matthew V. Portella, LLC, at (856) 310-9800 or contact us online.
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“I want to thank Mr. Portella for taking my case. What an amazing law office and attorney. He is very professional and got all of my charges dismissed. If I ever need an attorney again, Mr. Portella will be the one I call. Thank you again! -A.M.”