Theft offenses are among the most common types which law enforcement investigates. Most everyone knows the basics of what amounts to a theft crime, but receiving stolen property has some significant differences. And while it may seem like a less serious charge, it’s not.
How is it different?
The Alabama Code makes it illegal to intentionally receive property which you know to be stolen, but there are many other circumstances in which it can also be charged. In addition to receiving it, a person can also be convicted of the crime if they retain or dispose of such property.
And actual knowledge that property has been stolen is not always required – if the person simply has enough information to reasonably conclude the property has been stolen, that can be enough. The exception to the statutory requirements is if a person received or held on to stolen property with the intent to return it to its owner. In such a case, the statute is not violated.
How is it punished?
Receiving stolen property can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. The difference largely depends upon the value of the property. If it’s less than $500, it’s considered a misdemeanor. Once the value exceeds $500, it can be charged as a felony, with the class of the felony once again determined by the value, being a Class B, C or D felony.
Conviction of receiving stolen property can have significant consequences, even if it’s a misdemeanor. In addition to possible jail time, theft-type crimes can negatively impact your job and future employment opportunities. If you’ve been accused of such a crime, seek the assistance of a professional who is experienced in Alabama criminal law.