Theft by Receiving
Jan. 14, 2019
If you receive stolen property, you could be charged with theft by receiving under Georgia law. You must have known or had a suspicion that the property was stolen in order to be charged. Additionally, if you dispose of or keep property you know is stolen, you may also be charged with theft by receiving. And, if you lend money to someone who tries to use the property as security for the loan, you may be charged with receiving stolen property.
If you know that property has been stolen, do not accept it unless you are going to give the property back to its rightful owner. You may still be prosecuted for keeping stolen property even though the original thief has not been caught or convicted.
If you received stolen property that you did not know was stolen and are being charged with theft by receiving, you should contact a criminal attorney. Theft by receiving is a misdemeanor if the value of the property is less than $500. If the value is more than $500, theft by receiving is a felony. Additionally, you could face prison time from at least a year to 10 years for a misdemeanor.
Under certain circumstances, even if the property is valued at less than $500, you could be charged with a felony. This includes but is not limited to anhydrous ammonia, government property, a memorial or ornamentation for the dead – including flowers, trees and shrubs, motor vehicles, motor vehicle parts with a value of over $100, a destructive device, firearm, and explosives.
Depending on the circumstances and the type of property that was received, fines could be up to $100,000. Prison sentences for theft by receiving of anhydrous ammonia could be up to 10 years; for government property, up to 15 years; and for motor vehicle-related thefts, up to 20 years. You may have to pay the fine and serve prison time or you may be sentenced with one or the other.
If you have been accused of theft by receiving, contact our office for a consultation.