We all see them — people on corners or at flea markets, hawking goods for incredibly cheap prices. It makes it hard to resist such a good deal. But sometimes these aren’t such good deals. Sometimes these are stolen goods.
Even if you are not aware that the goods are stolen, you could end up in jail on a possession of stolen property charge if you buy such goods in McAlester, Oklahoma.
What is Possession of Stolen Property?
The law in Oklahoma prohibits the purchase of any item that a buyer either knows, or should reasonably have known was either stolen or obtained through false pretenses in any manner. Likewise, it is against the law in Oklahoma to aid in concealing stolen property.
Here is a typical scenario. Stan reads an ad online for iPads for sale at a very cheap price from a private seller named Tony. Stan meets with Tony and notices that Tony has a large number of iPads in boxes at the garage where the two meet to complete the purchase.
The large number of iPads should put Stan on notice to ask Tony how he obtained the iPads and why they are so cheap. Failing to make the inquiry could result in a conviction of being in possession of stolen property if Tony had indeed stolen the iPads. The facts here are very important.
If you are caught either with stolen goods or concealing stolen goods worth $1,000 or more, you could be convicted of a felony. This is punishable by imprisonment for one to five years and a fine of up to $500.
If the property is worth less than $1,000, you could be convicted of a misdemeanor crime. This is punishable by up to a year in the county jail. (Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 1713)
Additionally, if you have reason to believe the goods are stolen, or fail to make a reasonable inquiry to see if the goods are stolen, you will be presumed to have received stolen goods and subject to penalty under the statute.
This presumption is a rebuttable one. It can be rebutted with proof to the contrary. Making an inquiry about the nature of the goods before purchasing them can provide you with a viable defense under the statute.
Free Consultation: McAlester Criminal Defense Attorney
If you or someone you know has been accused of possession of stolen property in Oklahoma, please contact a McAlester criminal defense attorney to discuss your available legal options.
Consult with an experienced attorney at the Wirth Law Office – McAlester today, by calling 918-302-9656.
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