Now that we’ve spoken about theft in regards to actual physical things as well as services of all kinds, it’ll be useful for us to talk about criminal possession of property that’s already been stolen. So in order to do this, we’re going to work our way down the list of degrees, increasing in severity, till we get to the end. In this way, we can tease out the meaning of the law in a way that’s a lot more accessible than the legalese of the law itself.
The least severe degree of this law is when you knowingly hold onto stolen property with the intent to benefit yourself or someone else and impede the recovery of the property. This charge is considered to be a class A misdemeanor.
You’re guilty of the fourth degree of this charge when you do the same thing that’s listed in the fifth degree charge, and if the value of the property is greater than $1,000 or the property is some kind of credit or benefit card, or if you’re a collateral loan broker and deal in property, or the property is one or more firearms, or the property is more than $100 in value and consists of a motor vehicle. You’re also guilty of this if the property consists of some kind of scroll, religious vestment, vessel, or some other kind of property that has a value of at least $100 that’s used for religious worship. You’re also guilty of this if you’ve taken possession of something called anhydrous ammonia or else liquified ammonia gas and are intending to use this to make methamphetamine. The fourth degree of this charge is punishable as a class E felony.
Same thing applies to this charge, but this one is specifically when the value of the property is greater than $50,000. This charge is a class C felony.
Now we’ve reached the most severe charge of criminal possession of stolen property. This is committed if the property exceeds one million dollars, and it’s punishable as a class B felony.
Now there are some presumptions that are made in regards to criminal possession of stolen property. First of all, someone who knowingly possesses stolen property is presumed to be possessing it with the intent to benefit themselves or someone other than the owner. Also, a collateral loan broker or someone who’s in the business of dealing in property who holds onto stolen property is presumed to know that the property is stolen if they obtained it without knowing that they had a legal right from the owner to hold onto it. This also applies to someone who possesses two or more stolen credit cards and knows that these cards were stolen. Also someone who has three or more airplane tickets who were stolen is blanketed under this particular charge as well.
In any prosecution of one of these charges, it’s considered to be no defense that the person who stole the property wasn’t convicted, or the person stole or somehow participated in larceny, or the larceny didn’t happen in the state of New York.
Lastly, we’ve come to our section on corroboration in regards to criminal possession of stolen property. Someone who’s been charged with this crime can’t be convicted only on the testimony of one of their accomplices without any kind of corroborative evidence that connects the person with criminal possession. Also, unless it’s inconsistent with certain provisions, someone who’s charged with this crime can in fact be convicted only on the testimony of someone he obtained the property from, or on the testimony of whoever he disposed of the property with.
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