An 18-year-old Oange County man was arrested and subsequently charged with 2 misdemeanor counts of receiving stolen property, after deputies tied a stolen camera and iPods to his Craigslist posting. Deputies responded to a report of a stolen camera and traced it to a posting of the same kind on Craigslist. Investigators contacted the Lake Forest man about the Craigslist post. He agreed to meet with them. When he arrived, deputies confronted him about the missing electronics. After determining that he was in possession of the camera and two iPods he was arrested.
Receiving stolen property under California Penal Code 496 is considered a “wobbler”. This means that, depending on the circumstances of the case and the criminal history of the accused, it can either be filed as a felony or a misdemeanor. If convicted of a misdemeanor, the sentence is up to one year in County Jail. But if convicted of a felony, the sentence is 16 months to 3 years in State Prison. For this reason, an experienced criminal law defense attorney, having extensive experience and knowledge in defending receiving stolen property charges, is the best way to ensure that you achieve the best possible outcome.
There are several defenses to these charges that, in this case, an experienced Orange County Criminal Defense Attorney should consider, depending on the circumstances of the case. Some of the more common defenses to Receiving Stolen Property are: Mistake of fact, meaning that he didn’t know that the property was stolen. Also, believing that he had a right to the property. If either or both of these can be proven, he cannot be convicted of the charge. Similarly, if he didn’t know that he possessed the stolen property, in other words, someone placed the property in his possession without his knowledge, he would be entitled to an acquittal. Something that must always be considered in defending this type of case is whether or not the police officers violated this man’s constitutional rights. This is extremely important because if there was any misconduct on the part of the officers and the rights of this young men were violated, the case could be dismissed all together.