Sometimes, people come across a deal that they know is too good to be true. They may suspect that the goods were stolen. Most people know that they can get in serious legal trouble if they are accused of theft, but they may not understand the trouble they can get in if they purchase or accept goods that are stolen by someone else.
Under New York law, criminal possession of stolen goods can range from fifth-degree criminal possession of stolen goods to first-degree criminal possession of stolen goods, depending on the value of the goods and in some cases the types of goods at issue, such as weapons or credit cards.
Per New York Penal Code section 165.40 fifth-degree criminal possession of stolen goods takes place when a person possesses goods that he or she know have been stolen, and the person intends to keep the rightful owner of the goods from recovering the goods or the person intends to benefit him or herself or a third party other than the owner of the goods by keeping the property. If these elements exist, and the goods are worth more than $1 million, the crime is considered to be first-degree criminal possession of stolen goods.
Being accused of a crime you didn’t commit, such as criminal possession of stolen goods, can be a terrifying experience. After all, a criminal conviction can negatively impact a person’s life for years to come. A conviction could mean fines, imprisonment and a criminal record. It is only natural that one will want to avoid these consequences at all costs. Therefore, individuals accused of theft crimes in New York may want to do all that it takes to establish a strong argument in their favor, to effectively counter the arguments made by the prosecution.