Receiving stolen property is the crime of accepting or purchasing property the person knows or believes is stolen. It is also known as receiving stolen goods.
How Does Georgia Define Receiving Stolen Goods?
In Georgia, the crime of receiving stolen goods is called theft by receiving stolen property. A person is guilty of the crime when they receive, retain, or disposes of property they know or should know is stolen.
What Does It Mean to Receive Something?
To receive stolen property means the person gains control, acquires, or has the right to lend credit based on security of property.
What If I Did Know the Property Was Stolen at the Time I Made My Purchase?
You may not be guilty of theft by receiving stolen property if you genuinely did not know that the property was stolen at the time you made the purchase. This is because one must have known or be in a position where they should have known that the property was stolen when they purchase the property.
Will I Get in Trouble If I Purchased the Property to Give It Back to the Owner?
No. Georgia law does not consider it a crime to accept or purchase stolen property with the intent of giving it back to the owner.
Will I Be Charged for Theft by Taking If I Purchased Property That Was Stolen in a Theft by Taking?
No. Georgia law does not require a person who accepts or purchases stolen property from another to be charged with theft by taking, even if the person who originally stole the property through a theft by taking has been convicted of that crime.
What Kind of Crime Is Theft by Receiving Stolen Property?
Georgia has two types of criminal charges for receiving stolen property: misdemeanor and felony. Whether a person is charged with a misdemeanor or felony depends on the value of property stolen. If the property is valued at $1,500 or under, the crime is a misdemeanor. The purchase or receipt of stolen property that is worth over $1,500 is a felony.
What Is the Penalty for Felony Theft by Receiving Stolen Property?
There are three different possible punishments for a felony theft by receiving stolen property. The punishment that one will face depends on the value of the property involved:
- Two to 20 years in prison for property valued at $25,000 or more
- One to 10 years in prison for property valued between $5,000 and $25,000
- One to five years in prison for property valued between $1,500 and $5,000
Do I Need a Lawyer?
Yes. Felony receiving stolen property is a serious crime that may result in imprisonment. Contact a Georgia lawyer for help with your case.