One day you purchase a new item that seemed to be at a price that was too good to be true. Or someone gave you a gift that seemed really nice, better than what you would suspect they could afford. But you decided to not ask questions and just enjoyed the new gift or the deal that you got. Then a few weeks later, the police are contacting you about these new items and you find out that you are now in possession of stolen goods. Depending on the charges brought against you, the possession of stolen goods could be either a misdemeanor or felony and you will need the assistance of a criminal defense attorney in Charlotte, NC.
What if I didn’t know I was in possession of stolen goods in Charlotte, NC?
What if the scenario above happens, and you didn’t know that the items you had were stolen goods. If you didn’t know that you were in possession of stolen goods, a criminal defense lawyers can help you.
In fact, there are three facts that the police need to prove before they can charge you for possession of stolen goods. Your criminal defense attorney in Charlotte, NC can help make a case against this. The three facts include:
- Someone stole the property
- You receive the property
- You knew the property was stolen.
Without being able to prove all of these facts, the police have no case. The police need to prove all three things. If you did not know that the property was stolen, then the case is going to be dropped.
Can the police prove that I did know I was in possession of stolen goods?
If the process were as simple as telling the police that you did not know the item was stolen, then criminal defense lawyers would not be needed in these cases. Proving whether you knew the property was stolen or not is a bit more difficult, but there are a few factors that the police will take into consideration about the claim to determine whether you knew that you were in possession of stolen goods. These include:
- Did you help conceal the property?
- The price of the property was well below what the regular value of the item should be.
- If the identifying marks, like the VIN or serial codes, were removed.
- Cash was the only payment that the seller would accept and they did not provide you with a receipt.
If the police are able to prove these then you will need to talk with your defense attorney in Charlotte, NC to help you build up a case.
What defense can criminal defense lawyers in Charlotte, NC use?
There are a number of defenses that the attorney could put up for you. For example, perhaps you did purchase an item for way below the original value. But if you got it at a garage sale or at an online marketplace, you may believe that the seller was the original owner. Most garage sales and marketplaces online only accept cash as well. This could be a defense that your criminal defense attorney in Charlotte, NC uses with you.
The two defenses that are often used include mistake of fact and the right to possess the item. What these two defenses mean is that the criminal defense attorney in Charlotte, NC is able to show that you believed you were purchasing the item from the owner of that property, or that the person had an item that already belonged to you. If the criminal defense lawyer is able to prove these, then you are not guilty of possession of stolen goods.
Examples of the above could be that you did not know that you actually possessed the stolen property. So, if a friend leaves something at your home and you didn’t know it was there or that it was stolen, you can’t be charged. Or, if someone places stolen goods in your vehicle and you haven’t used it in three days, that could be your defense.
How a Criminal Defense Lawyer can Help with Your Possession of Stolen Goods Charge
If you are ever charged with possession of stolen goods, it is important to contact a larceny attorney in Charlotte, NC. They will take a look at your case and create a defense that will help get the charges dropped.
If you have been charged with possession of stolen goods, it is important to retain a Charlotte criminal lawyer. Contact us at Remington and Dixon and as your choice for criminal defense lawyers. We can take a look at your case and discuss all your options and the best strategy for your case.
Brandon double-majored in Political Science and Criminal Justice at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He earned his Juris Doctor from Barry University School of Law in Orlando, Florida. Throughout his career, Brandon has received numerous awards and recognition from his peers and agencies that rate attorneys. A few of these awards are from The National Trial Lawyers: Top 100 Trial Lawyer in 2014, The National Trial Lawyers: Top 40 Under 40 in 2014, Nation’s Top One Percent: National Association of Distinguished Counsel in 2015, Super Lawyers: Rising Stars in 2018 and 2019, and North Carolina Business Magazine: Legal Elite in 2019, among others.