Tag Archives: Possession of stolen property

Jackson, Mississippi Criminal Defense Lawyer Explains What You Need To Know If Charged With Possession Of Stolen Property

If you’re charged with possession of or receiving stolen property in Mississippi, here are some things you need to know.  

A person is guilty of possession of stolen property or receiving stolen property under Mississippi law if he intentionally possesses, receives, retains or disposes of stolen property.  Mississippi law requires that a person charged with receiving or possession of stolen property either (1) know that the property is stolen, or (2) have reasonable grounds to believe that the property is stolen. 

Under Mississippi law, the standard for deciding whether a person should have known the property was stolen is whether the accused received the stolen property under circumstances that reasonable men would believe the property was stolen.  The State sometimes tries to prove this by showing that the accused person paid a lot less for the property than the property was worth.  For example, if a person buys a Glock pistol for $50.00, when the fair market value is $500.00, then he obviously should know that it is stolen.  In such a case, the person would likely be found guilty of possession or receiving stolen property in Mississippi.

Whether possession of stolen property is a felony or a misdemeanor in Mississippi depends on the value of the property.  If the property has a value of $500.00 or less, then it is a misdemeanor which carries a sentence of six (6) months in the county jail.  If the stolen property has a value of more than $500.00, then it is a felony, with a potential sentence of ten (10) years in prison and a fine of $10,000.00.

There are defenses to the charge of possession or receiving stolen property in Mississippi.  These cases are easiest to defend where the State tries to prove that the defendant paid so much less for the property than it was worth, that he should have known it was stolen.  As an example, I once had a client who purchased a stolen vehicle for $750.00 from another individual (my client did not know it was stolen).  The Blue Book value of the vehicle was around $6,000.00.  However, when my client bought the car, the engine was knocking and leaking oil, and the transmission needed to be replaced.  Under those circumstances, my client likely overpaid for the car.  After presenting those facts to the prosecutor, the State dismissed the possession of stolen property charge against my client.

If you have been charged with possession of stolen property or receiving stolen property, don’t assume you are guilty.  Please contact Jackson, Mississippi criminal defense attorney Curt Crowley at 601.944.1984 for a free case evaluation.


Jackson, Mississippi Criminal Defense Lawyer Discusses Business Burglary

Arrested for business burglary in Mississippi?  Here’s what you need to know.

Business burglary is a felony under Mississippi criminal law.  A person is guilty of business burglary if he or she:

(1) breaks and enters;

(2) any shop, store, booth, tent, warehouse, or other building or private room or office therein;

(3) in which any goods or valuable thing is kept;

(4) with the intent to steal therein, or to commit any felony.

Business burglary carries a maximum sentence of seven (7) years in prison.

One of the more common ways the State tries to prove the crime of business burglary is to show that the accused possessed property which was stolen during a business burglary.  However, mere possession of stolen property, by itself, is insufficient to convict the accused of business burglary in Mississippi.

Where the State relies solely on the possession of stolen items as proof of business burglary, the following factors must be considered:

(a) How close to the scene of the business burglary was the accused arrested with the stolen property.  The further away from the scene of the crime, the less weight possession of stolen property should be given;

(b) How long after the burglary was the accused arrested with the stolen items?  The longer the period of time between the burglary and the arrest, the less weight this evidence should be given;

(c) Of all the items stolen in the business burglary, how many did the accused have in his possession.  Obviously, the less items the accused had in his possession, the less weight the evidence should be given. 

(d) Did the accused try to hide the items before or at the time he was arrested for business burglary;

(e)  Whether the accused has a plausible explanation for why he was in possession of the property stolen during the business burglary.

All of these facts must be thoroughly investigated by the defense.  For this reason, you need a criminal lawyer who will leave no rock unturned in finding facts that will keep you out of jail.  And you need a Mississippi criminal defense lawyer who will fight hard to protect you.  Please contact Jackson-based criminal defense lawyer Curt Crowley for a free consultation.