The National Stolen Property Act (NSPA) is a federal law that makes it unlawful to receive, sell, or transport any stolen property across state lines or outside the county. Georgia also has a law forbidding the transportation of stolen property into the state. This law is called “theft by bringing stolen property into state.”
What Is Considered Stolen Property in Georgia?
Stolen property is any property that someone takes from its lawful owner with the intent to never give it back to the owner.
What Is the Law in Georgia Regarding Stolen Property Being Brought over State Lines?
A person commits the crime of theft by bringing stolen property into state when they bring into Georgia any property that was stolen in another state. Additionally, the person must have either actually known or been in a position where they should have known that the property was stolen when they transport the property into Georgia.
Can I Get in Trouble If I Just Buy the Stolen Property Once It Arrives in Georgia?
Yes. However, a person will not be charged under this law. Instead, they will be charged with theft by receiving stolen property from another state. A person is guilty of theft by receiving property stolen in another state when they receive and retain/dispose of property that they knew or should have known was stolen in a different state.
Could I End Up a Felon If Convicted of Theft by Bringing Stolen Property into State?
It is possible for someone convicted of this crime to end up as a convicted felon. This is because a person can be charged with either a misdemeanor or a felony charge for committing this crime. If the stolen property possesses a value above $1,500, then the crime is typically a felony. The crime is otherwise misdemeanor. A person may also face a misdemeanor charge for this crime despite transporting property worth more than $1,500 if the judge chooses to lower the charge from a felony to a misdemeanor.
How Much Prison Time Could I Get If I Am Convicted of the Felony Version of This Crime?
The amount of prison time that a person will receive for a felony conviction depends entirely on the total financial worth of the property that was stolen. Thus, this is how the punishment for a felony charge in relation to property value breaks down:
- $25,000 or more: Two to 20 years in prison
- $5,000 to $25,000: One to 10 years in prison
- $1,500 to $5,000: One to five years in prison
Do I Really Need a Lawyer?
Yes, as legal representation is always an essential part of any good defense strategy during a felony criminal case. You should contact a Georgia lawyer immediately to determine the best way to fight your felony theft charge.