Receiving Stolen Property
Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 266 Section 60, makes it is a criminal offense to receive, to aid or to assist in the concealment of, or to buy, stolen property. To obtain a conviction of this crime, the prosecution must prove several important legal elements beyond a reasonable doubt.The Legal Elements of This Crime Are:
- That the defendant bought, received, aided or assisted in the concealment of stolen property (stolen “goods.”) If the defendant was not aware that the property was stolen at the time that he received it, but later learned that it was stolen and did not attempt to return the goods to the true owner, that failure to act would constitute aiding in the concealment of stolen property.
- That the goods were in fact stolen. To satisfy this element of the crime, the prosecution is not required to establish the identity of the person who actually stole the property in the first place.
- That the defendant knew that the goods were stolen. This is a subjective, not an objective, test. In other words, even if a reasonable person would have believed that the property was stolen, that is inadequate to prove that the defendant knew the goods were stolen. The subjective test of what the defendant knew can usually be satisfied through circumstantial evidence. An example of this might be an exceedingly low purchase price for property that is sold illegally, or “fenced.” As an illustration, if a defendant bought a solid gold Rolex watch from a street dealer for $20, that would constitute sufficient circumstantial evidence that the defendant had actual knowledge that the item was stolen (or “hot.) The burden of explaining a situation such as this is on the defendant. In the absence of a reasonable explanation (which the jury determines,) then knowledge that the property was stolen will be inferred to the defendant. It has been determined by the Massachusetts Appeals Court that this inference of knowledge to the defendant does not violate constitutionally protected rights.
As you can see, one of the central requirements for a conviction is that the defendant actually knew that the property in question was stolen. A person cannot be convicted of this crime if he acted foolishly in receiving the stolen property. Another element that the prosecution must prove is that the defendant actually, jointly or constructively possessed the property. Someone cannot be convicted of this crime if the prosecution cannot prove this element beyond a reasonable doubt. “Possession” of the goods is often a key legal issue during a trial on this charge. Skillfully attacking and challenging the evidence in this area is critical to an effective defense of this charge.Punishment:
The statute provides separate penalties, based upon whether the conviction was for a felony charge or a misdemeanor charge. If the value of the stolen property is less than $250.00 and the conviction is for a first offense, the crime will be classified as a misdemeanor. If the value of the property is over $250.00 and there are prior convictions for this offense, it will be classified as a felony. Many times the value of the stolen property is disputed. This is when and where you need a very experienced and qualified Massachusetts criminal defense attorney.Penalties For Receiving Stolen Property
The penalties imposed for a conviction of the crime of receiving stolen property are as follows:
Receiving Stolen Property Under $250.00/First Offense - - Misdemeanor Offense:
- Sentence to a County Jail/House of Correction for up to 2 ½ years; OR
- A maximum fine of $250.00
Receiving Stolen Property Over $250.00/For a Second or Subsequent Offense - - Felony Offense:
- Sentence to a state prison for a maximum of five years; OR
- Sentence to a County Jail/House of Correction for up to 2 ½ years AND
- A maximum fine of $500.00
If you or someone you care about has been charged with Receiving Stolen Property in Massachusetts, click on the “Free Arrest Tip Sheet” display button on this page, or just click here. We will send you a FREE document listing the most important action steps that you need to take if you have either already been arrested, or if you feel that you may be arrested soon. This FREE, valuable document will help you to begin to take charge of your situation.
Make The Right Choice In Hiring Your Receiving Stolen Property Defense Lawyer
If you or someone you know is facing a charge of Receiving Stolen Property in Massachusetts, you’re going to need the best legal talent that you can find. Call us at Ph.: (781) 320-0062, or Ph.: (617) 285-3600, and we’ll provide you with a free initial consultation. Or click here for a free consultation. Our defense team will tell you up front our opinion of the commonwealth’s case against you. We will do all this as part of a free initial consultation for 20-30 minutes. Start here to make this situation better than it is now.
In any Massachusetts criminal defense case, an immediate and thorough investigation into the incident is critical. The right professional needs to act quickly to preserve evidence, interview witnesses, and preserve defense testimony. If too much time passes, key material, key facts and key witnesses can be lost or missed. Don’t wait. Start here to make this situation better than it is now. Call us at Ph.: (781) 320-0062, or Ph.: (617) 285-3600, or contact us by email and we’ll get right back to you.
Westwood and Boston, Massachusetts criminal defense lawyer William D. Kickham has appeared as a legal analyst on a variety of respected media, including Fox News TV-25/Boston, The Boston Herald, WBZ-AM Radio 1030, WCVB-TV5/Boston, Nightside With Dan Rea, Greater Boston With Emily Rooney, Money Matters Radio/Boston, and The Metro Newspaper/Boston. Attorney William D. Kickham is turned to by respected reporters and media organizations in Massachusetts as an authoritative expert in the field of criminal defense law, and the case results he produces for his clients attest to this. Call us today at office number (781) 320-0062, or Atty. Kickham's cell phone number at (617) 285-3600, to arrange for a free initial consultation of your case. If the matter is not an emergency, you can email us here and we will respond to you very promptly.