Receiving stolen property is a common crime in the San Fernando Valley courthouses. Many courts handle these theft crime cases quite harshly if the property value is significant. In other words, the more significant the property value, the more likely the prosecutors are to want jail or even prison time depending on the circumstances involved.
A lot of times I see receiving stolen property cases where the prosecutors believe that the defendant is the one that actually stole the property. They simply just can’t probe that the defendant stole the property.
California Penal Code 496
So, instead of charging them with the actual theft of the property, since they have the person with the property on them — in their house, in their car — they charge them with receiving stolen property (CALCRIM 1750).
Now, in order to prove this in one of the San Fernando Valley courthouses like San Fernando or Van Nuys, they’re going to have to be able to show that the person knew the property was stolen.
A lot of times that’s a very difficult thing for the prosecutors to prove. That’s why the legislature and the jury instructions that were developed by the judge also include if the person knew or reasonably should have know that the property was stolen.
For example, if they’ve got some valuable property that somebody gave them and they don’t really have a good story or explanation for how the person would have given it to them for no reason.
Also, they should know that the property is stolen, then that’s how the prosecutors can prove that the person under those circumstances should have known that that property was stolen, and therefore, they can be charged with Penal Code Section 496 – Receiving Stolen Property.
As far as what the prosecutors are going to do about a situation where they’re able to show that somebody received stolen property, it really seems to hinge a lot on the value of the property. In other words, if the property is very valuable then the prosecutors are probably going to want the person to do jail time and take a felony on their record.
If on the other hand, the person doesn’t have much of a record and the property does not have that much value, a lot of times those cases will be filed and prosecuted as misdemeanor cases, which obviously is much better than having a felony on your record and looking at jail or prison time when that felony is filed against you.
Retain an Experienced Local Criminal Lawyer
So, if you’ve got a receiving stolen property case in one of the Valley courts like Van Nuys, San Fernando, Valencia, Pasadena, Glendale, Burbank — these are all courthouses that are technically within the San Fernando Valley, although I would say the main two courthouses in the Valley are Van Nuys and San Fernando.
They’re the ones that cover the most ground in those particular courthouses. You’re going to want to get an attorney who has a lot of experience in those particular courthouses dealing with receiving stolen property cases.
The first thing you want to decide if you’ve got one of these cases in the San Fernando Valley courthouses is whether or not you’re going to fight the case or whether it’s a scenario where you have to work out some sort of a deal.
If you’re going to fight the case, then what you do is sit down with an attorney like me. We’ll go over your defense. We’ll get it together. We’ll do the preliminary hearing and eventually we’ll do the trial in the case and we can prove that you’re innocent.
Negotiating a Favorable Plea Bargain
If on the other hand, they have the evidence to prove that you’re guilty, then you’re probably going to want to resolve the case by way of a plea bargain. Usually in these Valley receiving stolen property cases is what I’ll do is set up a meeting with the boss who makes the decision on how to deal with these cases.
I will send a mitigation package with character letters and information that’s positive about you to that supervisor and then I’ll sit down and meet with him face-to-face and we should be able to iron-out a resolution to take care of your receiving stolen property matter.
We want to get you out of the criminal justice system as fast as possible and hopefully keep you out of jail or prison and set things up so that you can protect your record in the best possible fashion.
Hedding Law Firm is a criminal defense law firm located in the San Fernando Valley at 16000 Ventura Blvd #1208 Encino, CA 91436. Contact us for a free case evaluation at (213) 542-0940.