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The Spodek Law Group understands how delicate high-profile cases can be, and has a strong track record of getting positive outcomes. Our lawyers service a clientele that is nationwide. With offices in both LA and NYC, and cases all across the country - Spodek Law Group is a top tier law firm.

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Stolen Property; Buying, Receiving, or Possessing Federal Defense Lawyers

By Spodek Law Group | February 13, 2023
(Last Updated On: March 8, 2023)

Last Updated on: 8th March 2023, 03:57 pm

Federal Stolen Property Laws: What You Need to Know

As a nationwide law firm, Spodek Law Group and Attorney Todd Spodek understand that being under investigation by federal authorities for theft crimes can be a stressful experience. It is important to know that it is against the law to buy, sell, transport, receive, or possess stolen property. The U.S. government has several laws involving stolen property, and in some cases, they can investigate and prosecute alleged offenses.

Federal Stolen Property Offenses and Penalties

Federal laws prohibit anyone from receiving, selling, possessing, concealing, or disposing of any property they know was stolen. Stolen property can include virtually any goods, money, securities, or other valuable items. The U.S. government can get involved in stolen property cases depending on the value of the property stolen as well as how and where the crime occurred.

Types of Federal Stolen Property Offenses

Federal statutes include many definitions of stolen property. These include the transportation of stolen vehicles, the sale or receipt of stolen vehicles, and the transportation of stolen goods, securities, monies, fraudulent State tax stamps, and articles used in counterfeiting. Other offenses include sale or receipt of stolen goods, monies, securities, or fraudulent State tax stamps, transportation of livestock, sale or receipt of livestock, trafficking in counterfeit labels, documentation, or packaging, criminal infringement of copyright, unauthorized sale, production, recording, or trafficking of sound recordings, music performances, and motion pictures, illicit digital transmission services, trafficking in counterfeit goods or services, trafficking in certain motor vehicles or parts, and chop shops.

When Does the Federal Government Get Involved?

Theft crimes can also fall under federal jurisdiction if certain “exceptional circumstances” exist. These circumstances usually arise in situations where the state feels it may not be able to successfully prosecute the crime and calls on federal authorities for assistance. Some circumstances include difficulty establishing a venue for prosecution, the crime is widespread or systematic, the crime involves multiple vehicles or heavy commercial vehicles and equipment, the defendant allegedly committed multiple interrelated crimes, or the defendant is a repeat offender.

In most cases, federal authorities only become involved if the value of the stolen property exceeds $5,000. However, the government can prosecute any theft or property crimes that occur across state lines or international borders, affect interstate or foreign commerce, or involve federal property. Crimes like bank robbery typically include federal involvement, as does stealing property belonging to the U.S. government, even if the property was seized from you.

Furthermore, it is against the law to alter or remove any vehicle identification numbers (VINs) from vehicles or any identifying information of any stolen property.

Investigating and Prosecuting Theft Crimes

Several government agencies investigate alleged theft and property crimes, including the Office of Enforcement Operations (OEO), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the U.S. Criminal Division’s Organized Crime and Gang Sections, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and the Department of Defense (DOD).

The U.S. Department of Justice prosecutes alleged offenses, and they are typically aggressive in their efforts. Therefore, it is vitally important to work with an experienced federal defense attorney like Spodek Law Group and Attorney Todd Spodek as soon as possible.

Defenses for Federal Stolen Property Charges

A conviction on any type of federal stolen property charge can adversely affect your life and future. You need to examine all your options for defense, and you need to consult an experienced federal defense attorney for help.

As the main element of the crime is that you knew the property was stolen (or should have), you may have a defense if you can show you were not aware the property was stolen. Other defense options include demonstrating that you did not transport the property across state lines or country borders, that the value of the property did not exceed $5,000, or that you could have been carrying the property for someone else, or someone forced you to commit the crime against your will. You may also have a defense if the property owner gave you consent to take or transport the property.

It is important to note that prosecutors will have to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt to convict you. Your attorney may identify effective defense options after reviewing your case that can place doubt in the jury’s mind. With Spodek Law Group and Attorney Todd Spodek, you can trust that we have the experience and expertise to provide you with the best possible defense.

Federal Stolen Property Penalties

The penalties for most stolen property crimes are up to 10 years in federal prison, along with hefty fines. However, you can receive up to 15 years for stealing pre-retail medical equipment and transporting it across state lines. Crimes involving stolen livestock carry prison sentences of up to five years and fines.

In addition to prison time and fines, you could also have to pay statutory damages. These damages are restitution you will have to pay the victim for any losses they incurred as a result of the crime. The court can increase damages for subsequent violations, and civil actions must be brought within three years of the offense.

Consult Spodek Law Group for Experienced Federal Defense

If you are facing federal stolen property charges, it is crucial to work with a knowledgeable and experienced federal criminal defense attorney. At Spodek Law Group, we have a deep understanding of the law and the experience to handle your legal situation. We will work tirelessly to prepare your defense and protect your rights.

Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and get the help you need to navigate this difficult time. We are here for you, and we will fight for you every step of the way.

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