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    Receive Stolen Goods

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      Receive Stolen Goods Lawyers

      Our specialist receiving stolen property lawyers understand that being arrested and charged with this offence can be a distressing experience. Any associated criminal record can affect your future work prospects as well as overseas travel.

      Contact us now to speak to our accredited specialist criminal lawyer who can immediately point out what defences are open to you.



        What is Receiving Stolen Goods?

        Section 188 of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) sets out the definition of receiving stolen property as you dishonestly obtaining and taking property of another person without their permission.


        How Do You Beat a Receiving Stolen Goods Charge?

        You can fight a Receiving stolen property charge in two ways. Firstly, the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt:

        1. You took and carried away property (including money); and
        2. That property belonged to another; and
        3. You had the intent to permanently deprive the owner of the property when you took it; and
        4. You did not have permission to take the property; and
        5. You took the property dishonestly.


        If any of these elements are not made out, then you can be found ‘not guilty’.

        Secondly, you can rely on one of the defences.


        What Are the Defences to Receiving Stolen Goods?

        The following defences apply to an offence of receiving stolen goods:

        1. The prosecution cannot prove you received the property or disposed of it.
        2. Knowledge: The prosecution cannot prove that you knew the property was stolen. You are essentially arguing that you received stolen property unknowingly.
        3. If the prosecution cannot prove that the property was in fact stolen
        4. Duress: You were forced to commit the offence
        5. Necessity: You needed to commit the offence


        We have a proven track record of our clients being found ‘not guilty’. We can quickly assess whether you have any defences open to you and begin preparing your case.

        Contact us now to speak our specialist criminal lawyers for receiving stolen property charges.


        Before pleading guilty, you should obtain advice from an experienced receiving stolen goods lawyer. The reason for this is that once you have entered a plea of ‘guilty’, it becomes very difficult to change your plea to ‘not guilty’.

        We regularly have clients come to us after being advised to plead guilty despite having a defence open to them.

        If you have spoken to our team, you will then need to prepare for sentencing. You can refer to our general guide. However, you will need to speak to a senior receiving stolen goods solicitor for representation in Court and advice specific to your case. 


        What is the Penalty for Receiving Stolen Goods?

        The maximum penalty for receiving stolen goods is 5 years imprisonment if your case is heard in the District Court.

        If your case is heard in the Local Court the maximum penalty for stealing will depend on the value of the property taken:

        • If the value of the property is over $5,000, the maximum penalty is 2 years jail;
        • If the value of the property is under $5,000, the maximum penalty is 2 years jail and/or a fine of $5,500;
        • If the value of the property is under $2,000, the maximum penalty is 2 years jail and/or a fine of $2,200.

        What are the Possible Sentences for Receiving Stolen Goods?

        The receiving stolen property sentence you ultimately receive will largely depend on the value of the property and your level of knowledge. Below is a list of possible sentences:

        1. Section 10 dismissal
        2. Conditional release order without conviction (previously known as Section 10 good behaviour bond)
        3. Fine
        4. Conditional release order with conviction (previously known as Section 9 good behaviour bond)
        5. Community Corrections Order (previously known as Community Service Order)
        6. Intensive Corrections Order
        7. Home Detention Order (no longer used in NSW)
        8. Full Time Imprisonment

        Will You Go to Jail for Receiving Stolen Goods?

        When analysing statistics from 2018, it becomes apparent that only 5% of offenders received no conviction for receiving stolen goods. 26% of offenders were sentenced to some form of imprisonment and 13% of offenders were sentenced to full-time jail. All remaining offenders received convictions on their criminal records.

        Clearly, avoiding a conviction is not easy. As such, you should speak to Australia’s best receiving stolen property lawyers for the best defence.


      What happens if you unknowingly buy stolen goods?

      If the prosecution cannot prove that you knew that the goods you purchased were stolen, then you may be able to defend a charge of receiving stolen goods. Mere suspicion, negligence or recklessness is not enough.

      However, you will not be able to keep the goods. They will be returned to their original owner. You may need to sue the person who sold you the goods (or obtain a compensation order) in order to have the money you paid for the goods returned to you.


      What is a receiving stolen property example?

      A recent case we acted in involved our client driving a friend to a furniture store.

      Once there, our client told his friend he wanted to obtain a coffee table. The friend was captured on the store’s CCTV changing the price tag on a coffee table before taking the table to the front desk to purchase it.

      The cameras also showed our client looking at the friend as the labels were changed. Two weeks later Police attended our client’s business and noticed the coffee table being used.

      As the coffee table was obtained by the commission of a stealing offence, and our client had reasonable cause to believe it was stolen, he was guilty of receiving stolen property.

      At Court we were able to tender a number of character references as well as an apology letter. Our client also provided assistance to Police in locating his friend. This was assessed as a relevant factor pursuant to Section 23 of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999 (NSW).

      Ultimately, we persuaded the Magistrate to deal with the case by way of a Section 10 dismissal. This means that our client does not have a criminal record and can go on with his life.

      Ask a question now!