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Stolen Property

Fencing / Stolen Property

Michigan takes a harsh stance against fencing, which is the practice of buying and selling stolen goods. Under Michigan law, buying, receiving, possessing concealing or helping to do any of the former actions can be felony offenses.

In the following article, we’ll discuss Michigan’s laws around stolen goods and some possible defenses.

Oakland County Stolen Goods Attorney

If you or someone you know has been charged with a type of larceny, it’s within your best interest to contact Dallo Law, P.C..

J. Dallo of Dallo Law, P.C. is passionate about helping his clients navigate the criminal justice system with promising results. Dallo has been practicing criminal defense for years and has the knowledge needed to fight any type of theft charge no matter the circumstances. Get started on your defense and call Dallo Law, P.C. today for a consultation.

Set up your first consultation by calling Dallo Law, P.C. at (248) 283-7000.

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Understanding Stolen Property Laws in Michigan

Michigan defines several laws related to theft, burglary, and larceny, including Michigan Penal Code Section 750.535. This section of state code deals with stolen goods, including the similar crime of auto theft and reselling.

Under Michigan law, it is illegal to:

  • Knowingly possess stolen goods
  • Sell stolen goods
  • Purchase or receive stolen goods
  • Conceal stolen goods

In addition, it is illegal to deal in embezzled or converted money, and to assist in any of the above criminal circumstances.

It is, however, an affirmative defense to prove that one might not have any reasonable knowledge that the goods received were stolen.

The level of sentencing for Michigan’s stolen goods charges depends on the total estimated value of the stolen goods. In the following section, we’ll go over the different levels of charges one might expect to face.

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Penalties for Stolen Goods Possession in Michigan

The following table is a schedule of the amount of goods, the level of offense and any penalties associated with the charge if convicted. For fines, the court goes with whichever number is higher. In addition, each prior conviction elevates the charge one tier.

$0 – $199 Misdemeanor
  • Up to 93 days in jail
  • Fine of $500 or 3x the stolen property value
$200 – $1,000 Misdemeanor
  • Up to 1 year in prison
  • Fine of $2,000 or 3x the stolen property value
$1,000 – $20,000 Felony
  • Up to 5 years in prison
  • Fine of $10,000 or 3x the stolen property value
$20,000+ Felony
  • Up to 10 years in prison
  • Fine of $15,000 or 3x the stolen property value

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Possible Defenses

Lack of Intent: If you did not have the intent to steal or did not know that the property was stolen, you may use this as a defense. Your attorney may argue that you had no knowledge that the property was obtained unlawfully. The law requires that you did could not have known the property was illegally obtained for this defense.

Ownership or Consent: If you believed that you had a legitimate right to the property or had the owner’s consent to possess it, this could be a defense. This may involve proving that you acquired the property through legal means. Selling furniture from a house that you purchased as an accidental property fraud is one example in which this may occur.

Entrapment: If you were coerced or induced by law enforcement or another person to commit the crime, you may argue that you were a victim of entrapment.

Duress: If you can show that you committed the theft under duress or threats to your safety or the safety of your loved ones, it might be considered as a defense. It is unlikely that this defense will help entirely, but may mitigate the charges some.

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 Additional Resources

Larceny Laws in Michigan – Visit the official website for the Michigan Legislature to read up on their larceny laws. Access the site to learn about the definition of larceny under Michigan law, admissible defenses, the various penalties for theft, and other relevant information.

National Association for Shoplifting Prevention (NASP) — NASP is a nonprofit organization that was originally founded in 1977 as Shoplifters Anonymous, Inc to help those who are struggling with the impulse of shoplifting. The organization focuses on the study and prevention of shoplifting tendencies in those who can’t control themselves. On this website, you can learn more about NASP’s community programs and educational services.

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Hire a Stolen Property Defense Attorney in Oakland County

Fighting stolen property charges can be difficult. Because of this, having a skilled and experienced theft crimes attorney is a must when going up against misdemeanor or felony charges. If you need legal representation, contact Dallo Law, P.C.. He has been defending those accused of theft for years and has a track record of success. Get in touch with him to learn your legal options and start a defense plan to tackle your charges.

Call Dallo Law, P.C. today at (248) 283-7000 to set up your first consultation.

Dallo Law, P.C. has offices located in Bloomfield Hills, and accepts clients throughout the greater Oakland County and Macomb County area.

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