Dealing with Stolen Items – Penalties You Did Not Know About

August 31, 2023by Naomi Cramer

Most individuals have seen gadgets that look too good to be true on sale at markets and automobile boot gross sales, and regrettably, generally they’re items which were stolen. In what circumstances, although, are you committing the offence of dealing with stolen items? In an effort to be prosecuted for this offence, the CPS might want to present that you simply knew that the products have been stolen on the time that you simply dealt with them. Which means that in case you have no idea that the products have been stolen, you can’t be prosecuted. Nonetheless, in case you grow to be conscious that the products are stolen, in case you then preserve utilizing them, you can be committing an offence. The dangerous information is that in case you purchased stolen items, even in case you didn’t know they have been stolen, they won’t belong to you. As a substitute, they continue to be the property of the unique proprietor.

What’s the offence of dealing with stolen items?

The offence of dealing with stolen items is ready out at Part 22 of the Theft Act 1968. This states that:

An individual handles stolen items if (in any other case than in the midst of the stealing) understanding or believing them to be stolen items he dishonestly receives the products, or dishonestly undertakes or assists of their retention, removing, disposal or realisation by or for the good thing about one other individual, or if he arranges to take action.

If you’re questioning whether or not you will be charged for this offence in relation to items that you simply purchased in good religion, the reply isn’t any. In an effort to be convicted of this offence, the prosecution should show past cheap doubt that the products have been stolen and the defendant knew or believed that they have been stolen on the time of committing the offence.

If the defendant obtained the products with out understanding that they have been stolen, however subsequently  finds out that they have been stolen, they could be responsible of the offence of buying, utilizing, or possessing felony property beneath Part 329 of the Proceeds of crime Act 2002.

The courts have confirmed that ‘dealing with’ is an offence that may be dedicated in a wide range of other ways, together with retaining, eradicating, disposing of, or promoting. The cost sheet ought to specify during which approach the offence was alleged to be dedicated.

Stolen items embody items stolen in one other jurisdiction if the theft of the products was an offence in that jurisdiction. It could actually additionally embody money obtained by promoting the products. For instance, if the thief stole a telephone and bought it to the handler, the proceeds can be stolen items. If the handler bought it on, the proceeds would even be stolen items as would the telephone. Nonetheless, if an harmless purchaser purchased the telephone and later bought it, the proceeds wouldn’t be stolen items.

Stolen items additionally embody items obtained by means of blackmail or fraud. Money withdrawn from an account that has obtained a wrongful credit score additionally constitutes stolen items.

What’s the distinction between dealing with stolen items and theft?

Theft is the act of taking an merchandise unlawfully whereas dealing with stolen items refers to actions taken in relation with the stolen merchandise by an individual who is just not the thief themselves.

Say, for instance, Leanne steals packets of steak on the grocery store. She offers them to Dave, who sells them on the pub. Leanne has dedicated theft, whereas Dave has dealt with stolen items. Nonetheless, as a way to convict Dave, the CPS must show that Dave knew Leanne had stolen the steaks. If Dave may persuade the court that he was beneath the impression that Leanne had come in regards to the steaks lawfully, he couldn’t be convicted for that offence.

What occurs in case you are suspected of dealing with stolen items within the Auckland?

The place a defendant is present in possession of products which are believed to be stolen, generally it may be troublesome for the police to know whether or not the defendant has stolen the products, or if she or he is dealing with them after theft by one other individual. For instance, say the police apprehend Clare with two model new laptops. They match the outline of the gadgets which were stolen from the Apple Retailer however the police do not need any proof of who truly took them as a result of the CCTV digicam was damaged. In these circumstances, Clare will likely be charged with theft and dealing with within the various.

It’s not mandatory for the prosecution to call who stole the products as a way to safe a conviction for dealing with stolen items. It’s only mandatory for the prosecution to show past cheap doubt that the products are stolen.

What’s the sentence for dealing with stolen items?

The potential sentence for dealing with stolen items is dependent upon whether or not the case is heard within the Magistrates’ Court or the Crown Court. Dealing with stolen items is an both approach offence, which signifies that it may very well be heard within the Magistrates’ Court or the Crown Court relying on the seriousness of the offence and whether or not the defendant elects to have their case heard earlier than a jury. The Theft Act establishes that the utmost sentence for dealing with stolen items is 14 years’ imprisonment. Such a prolonged sentence may solely be given by the Crown Court. If the case is heard within the Magistrates’ Court, the utmost custodial sentence is 6 months.

The Sentencing Council has produced a information that’s utilized by magistrates and judges as a way to determine upon the suitable sentence. This explains that as a way to arrive on the sentence place to begin, the court should take a look at the culpability of the offender and the hurt attributable to the crime.

For circumstances of dealing with stolen items, assuming a number one function in a gaggle of people committing the crime will result in a notion of upper culpability. Your sentence will likely be extra extreme in case you contain others by means of coercion, intimidation, or exploitation. As well as, the exploitation of a place of belief or accountability will enhance the seriousness of the offence. The place there’s a shut connection between you, the individual dealing with the products, and the truth that they’ve been stolen, this may also be appeared on by the court as a sign of better criminality.

Offences the place the handler obtained the property for their very own private use will likely be deemed much less severe than these the place property was bought onwards for industrial acquire. Different components lessening culpability embody offences the place there was little or no planning or the place the defendant was coerced or pressured into committing the offence.

The court will then think about the hurt attributable to the offence. Firstly, the court will take a look at the monetary worth of the property. Then the court will think about the next components as rising the hurt that has been triggered:

  • the place property was stolen from a home housebreaking or theft
  • gadgets have been substantial worth to the individual that they have been taken from no matter their precise monetary value
  • within the case of metallic theft, disruption to infrastructure (g. disruption to rail companies)
  • harm to heritage belongings

The court will then think about aggravating and mitigating components in your case, together with any convictions for comparable offences. If you’re affected by a psychological sickness or incapacity this will likely be taken into consideration by the court.

Lastly, the choose will take a look at whether or not any sentence discount needs to be given for a responsible plea.  

Will I am going to jail for the primary time dealing with stolen items?

Whether or not you’ll go to jail for the primary time dealing with stolen items is dependent upon whether or not you’ve got earlier convictions for comparable offences, and the seriousness of the offence for which you might be being tried.

For instance, the place the products stolen are valued above £100,000 you’ll virtually actually go to jail. You’ll obtain a sentence place to begin of between 1 and 5 years’ custody, relying in your function within the offence.

If the products have been value lower than £1000, you’ll obtain both a nice or neighborhood stage order.

For items valued between £1000 and £100,000, whether or not you might be more likely to obtain a custodial sentence is dependent upon your function within the offence. For instance, in case you performed a small function in dealing with a stolen automobile value £20,000, however you might show you have been threatened by a felony gang into doing so, you may stroll away with a neighborhood order relatively than a jail sentence. Then again, maybe you performed a number one function in dealing with a stolen wedding ceremony ring valued at £1500. If the court perceives your conduct to be extremely culpable, you might obtain a custodial sentence of 1 to 2 years.

The place to get additional assist

If in case you have been accused of dealing with stolen items, search the recommendation of an skilled felony defence solicitor on the earliest alternative. At Stuart Miller Solicitors, we perceive that standing trial is a frightening prospect. We are going to be sure that you perceive the authorized components of the offence that you’ve been accused of, and your choices in respect of how one can proceed with the case. Contact us for a no obligation session at this time.


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by Naomi Cramer

Auckland Lawyer for FIRST TIME Offenders Seeking to Avoid a Conviction. Family Law Expert in Child Care Custody Disputes. If you are facing Court Naomi will make you feel comfortable every step of the way.  As a consummate professional your goals become hers, with customer service as our top priority. It has always been Naomi’s philosophy to approach whatever you do in life with bold enthusiasm and pure dedication. Complement this with her genuine passion for equal justice and rights for all and you have the formula for success. Naomi is a highly skilled Court lawyer having practised for more than 20 years. She serves the greater Auckland region and can travel to represent clients throughout NZ With extensive experience, an analytical eye for detail, and continuing legal education Naomi’s skill set will maximise your legal rights whilst offering a holistic approach that best fits your individual needs. This is further enhanced with her high level of support and understanding. Naomi will redefine what you expect from your legal professional, facilitating a seamless experience from start to finish.   Her approachable and adaptive demeanor serves her well when working with the diverse cultures that make up the Auckland region. Blend her open and honest approach to her transparent process and you can see why she routinely delivers the satisfying results her clients deserve. If you want to maximise your legal rights, we recommend you book an appointment with Naomi today so she can detail the steps for you to achieve your goals. 

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