Receiving Stolen Goods

Posted by in Criminal Law on Oct 30, 2014

There are many kinds of theft, and some are less obvious than others. For example, passing off creative work of another person as your own is in violation of copyright and considered theft. The same goes for appropriating the design of a well-known brand and placing their logo on counterfeit products. But what if you buy counterfeit products? Would that be considered theft?

It could be if you bought an item knowing that it was counterfeit or pirated. There’s a bit of a gray area there, and few ever get prosecuted. Law enforcement usually concentrates on the manufacturers of such products. But if you receive goods that were actually stolen such as a watch or a car, then you could be prosecuted on the same level as the actual thief.

Under the laws of Texas, an individual that knowingly receives stolen goods is just as liable as the person who did the actual deed. A key factor here is knowledge; a person who buys a used smart phone online which turns out to have been stolen is presumably unaware of that fact and cannot be held liable for a good-faith purchase. But a pawnshop owner who buys a genuine Rolex watch from a person who cannot possibly own such an item legitimately is presumed to know or should have known that the item was stolen on the basis of common sense and as part of their responsibility to establish ownership for such items. The same goes for some who buys cars to sell; they know or should have known that failure to produce evidence of ownership makes it suspect.

As discussed on the LOMTL website, any individual can be falsely charged with receiving stolen goods, but an accusation it is not yet a conviction. If you are charged with this offense, you need to establish your defense right away. You can do this most effectively with the help of an experienced criminal defense lawyer in your area.

One Comment

  1. Nov 20, 2014

    You did this piece justice

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