Knowingly Possessing Stolen Property in New York

What Is Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the Fifth Degree?

To be guilty of criminal possession of stolen property in the fifth degree, a person must meet several criteria. They must be in possession of stolen property; they must know that the property is stolen; and they must be intending to keep it from its rightful owner. This lowest tier of criminal possession of stolen property applies to property that is worth less than $1,000.

When the Charge of Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the Fifth Degree Applies

Because this charge applies to property worth less than $1,000, it is most commonly associated with petit larceny crimes, such as shoplifting. Long Island prosecutors sometimes charge both petit larceny and criminal possession of stolen property in the fifth degree, since a person who commits petit larceny is clearly aware that the property is stolen.

However, a person does not need to commit the theft in order to be guilty of criminal possession of stolen property. All that is required is that they are aware that the property is stolen and that they intent to withhold it from its owner. For example, a person who is given a stolen cell phone by a friend would be guilty of this charge if he were aware that his friend had stolen the phone but still kept it for himself.

NY PENAL § 165.40: Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the Fifth Degree

The New York State penal code says:

A person is guilty of criminal possession of stolen property in the fifth degree when he knowingly possesses stolen property, with intent to benefit himself or a person other than an owner thereof or to impede the recovery by an owner thereof.

Criminal possession of stolen property in the fifth degree is a class A misdemeanor.

What Are the Potential Consequences of Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the Fifth Degree?

This charge is a class A misdemeanor, which means that if convicted, you could face up to a year in jail. If you are charged with 5th-degree criminal possession of stolen property on Long Island, you should take it seriously and consult an experienced criminal defense attorney. Your attorney will know the best way to defend you against the charges. One common defense against a criminal possession of stolen property charge is to show that the accused person didn’t know the property was stolen.

What Should I Do Next?

If you are charged with criminal possession of stolen property in the fifth degree in Queens, Nassau, or Suffolk County, you need to hire a lawyer to represent you. Do not attempt to resolve your case on your own and don’t make any statements to prosecutors or the police. Your Long Island criminal defense attorney will have the experience to speak on your behalf and secure the most favorable possible outcome for you.

Possession of Stolen Property in the Fifth Degree
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