Dealing in Stolen Property
When a person is charged with theft in Texas, the assumption is that the alleged offender also was the individual who physically stole the property from its rightful owner. When a person traffics in stolen property, the criminal charges that result are frequently referred to as dealing stolen property or stolen goods.
Not everybody who obtains stolen property, however, is aware that the items they took custody of were originally obtained via illegal means. Criminal charges are based on the fair market value of the property at the time and place of the alleged theft offense, not what an alleged offender accused of dealing in stolen property might have paid for it.
Lawyer for Dealing in Stolen Property Arrests in Georgetown, TX
Were you charged in Central Texas with theft for allegedly dealing in stolen property? Even if you are 100 percent certain that you are innocent, you should still avoid saying anything to authorities until you have first contacted Price & Twine, PLLC.
Michael J. Price is an experienced criminal defense attorney in Georgetown who represents indivudals accused of theft crimes in Leander, Round Rock, Taylor, Temple, Killeen, and many surrounding areas of Williamson County and Bell County. You can have him provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case as soon as you call (512) 354-1880 to schedule a free, confidential consultation.
Texas Dealing in Stolen Property Information Center
- How is this crime defined under state law?
- What are the consequences of being convicted of this kind of theft crime?
- Where can I learn more about dealing in stolen property in Georgetown?
Dealing in stolen property is also referred to as receiving or concealing stolen property. This crime is one of the multiple offenses that is consolidated in Texas Penal Code § 31.02, as theft as defined in Texas Penal Code § 31.03 constitutes a single offense superseding all the separate offenses.
A person commits a theft offense under Texas Penal Code § 31.03 if he or she unlawfully appropriates property with intent to deprive the owner of property. Appropriation of property is deemed unlawful if:
- It is without the owner’s effective consent;
- The property is stolen and the alleged offender appropriates the property knowing it was stolen by another; or
- Property in the custody of any law enforcement agency was explicitly represented by any law enforcement agent to the alleged offender as being stolen and the alleged offender appropriates the property believing it was stolen by another.
Some of the important presumptions that are established under the theft statute, meaning that a person’s certain oversights or failure to do certain things when obtaining property can constitute that individual being legally considered as having known the property was stolen. A few of the presumptions include the following:
- An alleged offender engaged in the business of buying and selling used or secondhand personal property, or lending money on the security of personal property deposited with the alleged offender, is presumed to know upon receipt by the alleged offender of stolen property (other than a motor vehicle) that the property has been previously stolen from another if the alleged offender pays for or loans against the property $25 or more (or consideration of equivalent value) and the alleged offender knowingly or recklessly fails to record the name, address, and physical description or identification number of the seller or pledger, fails to record a complete description of the property, including the serial number, if reasonably available, or other identifying characteristics, or fails to obtain a signed warranty from the seller or pledgor that the seller or pledgor has the right to possess the property. It is the express intent of this provision that the presumption arises unless the alleged offender complies with each of the numbered requirements;
- An alleged offender engaged in the business of obtaining abandoned or wrecked motor vehicles or parts of an abandoned or wrecked motor vehicle for resale, disposal, scrap, repair, rebuilding, demolition, or other form of salvage is presumed to know on receipt by the alleged offender of stolen property that the property has been previously stolen from another if the alleged offender knowingly or recklessly fails to maintain an accurate and legible inventory of each motor vehicle component part purchased by or delivered to the alleged offender, including the date of purchase or delivery, the name, age, address, sex, and driver’s license number of the seller or person making the delivery, the license plate number of the motor vehicle in which the part was delivered, a complete description of the part, and the vehicle identification number of the motor vehicle from which the part was removed, or in lieu of maintaining an inventory, fails to record the name and certificate of inventory number of the person who dismantled the motor vehicle from which the part was obtained, fails on receipt of a motor vehicle to obtain a certificate of authority, sales receipt, or transfer document as required, or a certificate of title showing that the motor vehicle is not subject to a lien or that all recorded liens on the motor vehicle have been released, or fails on receipt of a motor vehicle to immediately remove an unexpired license plate from the motor vehicle, to keep the plate in a secure and locked place, or to maintain an inventory, on forms provided by the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles, of license plates kept under this paragraph, including for each plate or set of plates the license plate number and the make, motor number, and vehicle identification number of the motor vehicle from which the plate was removed;
- An alleged offender who purchases or receives a used or secondhand motor vehicle is presumed to know on receipt by the alleged offender of the motor vehicle that the motor vehicle has been previously stolen from another if the alleged offender knowingly or recklessly fails to report to the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles the failure of the person who sold or delivered the motor vehicle to the alleged offender to deliver to the alleged offender a properly executed certificate of title to the motor vehicle at the time the motor vehicle was delivered or fails to file with the county tax assessor-collector of the county in which the alleged offender received the motor vehicle, not later than the 20th day after the date the alleged offender received the motor vehicle, the registration license receipt and certificate of title or evidence of title delivered to the alleged offender at the time the motor vehicle was delivered; and
- An alleged offender who purchases or receives from any source other than a licensed retailer or distributor of pesticides a restricted-use pesticide or a state-limited-use pesticide or a compound, mixture, or preparation containing a restricted-use or state-limited-use pesticide is presumed to know on receipt by the alleged offender of the pesticide or compound, mixture, or preparation that the pesticide or compound, mixture, or preparation has been previously stolen from another if the alleged offender fails to record the name, address, and physical description of the seller or pledger, fails to record a complete description of the amount and type of pesticide or compound, mixture, or preparation purchased or received, and fails to obtain a signed warranty from the seller or pledgor that the seller or pledgor has the right to possess the property.
The value of the property involved in an alleged theft offense determines the severity of the criminal charges. Dealing in stolen property crimes can be classified as follows, depending on the fair market value of the property:
- Less than $100 — Class C misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $500;
- $100 or more but less than $750, the value of the property stolen is less than $100 and the alleged offender has previously been convicted of any grade of theft, or the property stolen is a driver’s license, commercial driver’s license, or personal identification certificate issued by this state or another state — Class B misdemeanor punishable by up to 180 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,000;
- $750 or more but less than $2,500 — Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and/or a fine of up to $4,000;
- $2,500 or more but less than $30,000, the property is less than 10 head of sheep, swine, or goats or any part thereof under the value of $30,000, the property— regardless of value—is stolen from the person of another or from a human corpse or grave, including property that is a military grave marker, the property stolen is a firearm, the value of the property stolen is less than $2,500 and the defendant has been previously convicted two or more times of any grade of theft, the property stolen is an official ballot or official carrier envelope for an election, or the value of the property stolen is less than $20,000 and the property stolen is either aluminum, bronze, copper, or brass— State jail felony punishable by up to two years in state jail and/or a fine of up to $10,000;
- $30,000 or more but less than $150,000, or the property is cattle, horses, or exotic livestock or exotic fowl stolen during a single transaction and having an aggregate value of less than $150,000, or 10 or more head of sheep, swine, or goats stolen during a single transaction and having an aggregate value of less than $150,000 — Third-degree felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000;
- $150,000 or more but less than $300,000 — Second-degree felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000; or
- $300,000 or more — First-degree felony punishable by up to 99 years or life in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000.
Among many other factors, dealing in stolen property crimes can be increased to the next higher category of offense if the owner of the property appropriated was at the time of the offense an elderly individual or a nonprofit organization.
Victim Assistance Unit | Williamson County Sheriff’s Office — The Victim Assistance Unit of the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office handles numerous services, including the Victim’s Assistance Program and the The Victim Assistance Volunteer Team.
Williamson County Sheriff’s Office
508 S. Rock St.
Georgetown, TX 78626
Stolen 911: Stolen Property | List, Share & Recover — Stolen 911 allows users to post pictures and descriptions of stolen property for free in a manner similar to listings on a classified site. Stolen items listed on the website are indexed by major search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo, and stolen property remains listed and searchable for one year. If it’s not recovered, you can list it again free each year until it’s located. You can also read recent blog posts and find answers to frequently asked questions.
Price & Twine, PLLC | Georgetown Dealing in Stolen Property Defense Attorney
If you think that you might be under investigation or you were arrested for receiving or concealing stolen property in Central Texas, it is in your best interest to not make any kind of statement to authorities until you have legal counsel. Contact Price & Twine, PLLC as soon as possible.
Georgetown criminal defense lawyer Michael J. Price aggressively defends clients all over Williamson County and Bell County, including in Cedar Park, Harker Heights, Hutto, Benton, Georgetown, and several other nearby communities. He can review your case and answer all of your legal questions when you call (512) 354-1880 or complete an online contact form today to take advantage of a free initial consultation.