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Possession of Stolen Goods

Definition - What does Possession of Stolen Goods mean?

This is one of several terms for a criminal offense in which someone has knowingly assumed ownership of stolen item(s).

A person who has sufficient reason to believe that an item is stolen and still accepts it can also be charged with this crime. However, acceptance of stolen property by someone who is unaware of how it was initially obtained or who has no reason to believe it was stolen is not a crime.

Justipedia explains Possession of Stolen Goods

In order to secure a conviction for possession of stolen goods, a prosecutor must generally be able to demonstrate that:

  1. The item in question was initially obtained illegally.
  2. The accused knew the property that they accepted from someone else was stolen; or
  3. Any person of average intelligence would have known that the property was obtained illegally and acted accordingly, and that the accused did not do so.
  4. The accused intended to keep or otherwise profit from receiving the item(s).

Depending on the jurisdiction and/or the value of the item(s), the offense may be a misdemeanor or felony.

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