Receiving Stolen Property Has Serious Consequences in Oklahoma
In Tulsa, Oklahoma, receiving stolen property is defined as either buying or receiving personal property of any value that has been stolen, embezzled, obtained by robbery or false pretenses, knowing or having reasonable cause to know that it has been stolen, or aiding, abetting, or concealing such property from the owner.
If the property is worth $1,000 or more, the crime is a felony. It is punishable by up to a year in jail or up to five years in prison, at the court’s discretion. A fine of up to $500 may be assessed in addition to or in lieu of incarceration.
Receiving stolen property worth less than $1,000 is a misdemeanor crime. This is punishable by up to six months in jail, or a fine of up to $500, or both. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 1713
A Reasonable Inquiry is Required
If one buys, receives, conceals, or withholds stolen property or aids another and fails to make a reasonable inquiry regarding their legal right to sell or deliver such property in circumstances in which a reasonable person would make such an inquiry, that person will be presumed to have obtained the property knowing that it was stolen. This presumption is rebuttable by proof. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 1713
Thus, a woman buying a Rolex watch for $100 on a street corner from a guy selling them surreptitiously may be guilty of receiving stolen goods if the watch was stolen and if she failed to ask if the guy had a legal right to sell it, if a reasonable person would have asked in light of the circumstances. This is true even if she did not know that the watch was stolen.
If the watch is worth more than $1,000, she could be convicted of a felony offense and spend up to five years in prison. This is a deal that would be too good to be true, and that should have put her on notice that the watch was stolen.
Because the law implies a rebuttable presumption, small details of the circumstances matter in the prosecution and defense of this crime if the presumption is raised by the prosecution.
Altering the above example, if the transaction took place at a street fair and the man selling the watch claimed it was a Rolex knockoff, the presumption may not attach. Because the circumstances look more legitimate here, this may be enough to rebut the presumption even if the watch did turn out to be stolen.
Free Consultation with a Tulsa Criminal Defense Attorney
Receiving stolen property can mean a harsh prison sentence. Even if you did not know that the property was stolen, if you should have known and received the goods anyway, you could spend a long time in prison depending on the value of the property involved.
Small facts may make a big difference to your defense. Hire an experienced Tulsa criminal defense attorney who will work hard to protect your freedom. Our initial consultation is free.
Call Wirth Law Office – Tulsa at 918-879-1681 or toll free at 1-888-Wirth-Law (1-888-947-8452). You can also submit the question form at the top right of this page.