Buying or Receiving Stolen Property

Massachusetts Theft Crimes / Buying and Receiving Stolen Goods Criminal Defense Lawyers

About Buying or Receiving Stolen Property in Massachusetts

In the state of Massachusetts, it’s not only a crime to physically steal something from someone it is also illegal to buy, receive, or store stolen property.  But how and when does the law consider it reasonable that person is supposed to know that an item has been stolen?

Most of the time, this knowledge can be established by appealing to common sense:  If a person offers to sell you a brand-new, custom-equipped dirt bike clearly worth thousands of dollars for only a couple of hundred dollars, that can be legally construed as evidence that you should have known the bike was stolen.

If you buy stolen property, you can be charged with trafficking in stolen goods, even if you did not technically know for a fact, that an items had been stolen.  In other words, even if the seller did not tell you the item was stolen, or you did not ask if the item was stolen, if it could be presumed reasonable that the item was stolen because of the price or some action by the seller (i.e., they were selling plasma TVs off the back of a truck) you could be charged with a crime for buying or receiving stolen goods.

The district attorney doesn’t care if you bought that dirt bike from your trusted, squeaky-clean cousin, from a stranger, or someone who has a criminal record.  If the “bargain price” should have reasonably alerted you to the probability an item was stolen, you can be charged with buying or receiving stolen goods.

It is important to consult an attorney who is experienced in Massachusetts larceny law because there is a gray legal area when the price of a stolen item appears to be deeply discounted rather than a true “steal.”

Attorney Noonan knows the legal strategies and tactics both law enforcement and district attorneys use when trying to get criminal convictions. As a former prosecutor, he has criminal trial experience on both sides of a criminal case, which is invaluable when you are looking for an attorney to represent you.

Criminal Penalties for a Conviction of Buying or Receiving Stolen Goods

As with grand and petty larceny, Massachusetts distinguishes between the buying and receiving of stolen goods whose total value is more or less than $1,200.

  • A conviction involving property worth less than $1,200 is punishable by up to 30 months in jail; if you have a previous conviction on your record, you can be sent to state prison for up to five years.
  • If you’re caught holding, buying or receiving stolen property worth more than $1,200 that’s also punishable by up to five years in jail.

These penalties—as well as the fact that a conviction for buying or receiving stolen goods will leave a permanent mark on your record—is why you should have an experienced attorney at your side, who may be able to have the charges dismissed, or reduced, in return for restitution and/or a period of probation.

Free Consultation With an Experienced Theft Crimes Attorney

If you have been charged with buying or receiving stolen goods, the criminal defense lawyers of The Noonan Defense Firm may be able to plead down your case with the district attorney, or have the charges dismissed pending a period of probation. Restitution of the value of the property will also go a long way toward having a larceny conviction erased from your record, or not entered there in the first place.

Serving all of Southeastern MA including the counties of Bristol, Norfolk and Plymouth

No matter where you are located, we are just a phone call away. Call us to schedule a free no-obligation case review and consultation at (508) 584-6955 and you will have taken your first step to find out how best to confront this important matter. You can also click here to use our Free Case Evaluation Form.


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