June 5, 2021

What Happens if You Buy Stolen Goods in Nevada?

Learn the consequences of buying stolen goods and how you can work around it.

If you were accused of buying or receiving stolen goods into your possession, it’s definitely a good idea to seek legal representation. The state of Nevada has some of the strictest laws in the country when it comes to buying stolen goods. No matter what the details of the situation regarding the goods in question, it’s best to have a lawyer in your corner to guide you through all the relevant laws and regulations. This article will provide you with some insight into this particular area of the law within the state of Nevada.   

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What Does It Mean to Possess Stolen Property in Nevada?

Nevada law states that, “A person commits an offense involving stolen property if the person, for his or her own gain, or to prevent the owner from again possessing the owner’s property, buys, receives, possesses or withholds property.” It’s also important to clarify that if you receive property that you know was stolen, you can still be convicted of a crime even if you didn’t pay for the goods. 

What Are The Penalties Under NRS 205.275?

The penalties under code NRS 205.275 involving stolen goods vary depending on the monetary values attached to what was stolen. 

Here is a breakdown of the common penalties under this code: 

  • Property valued at less than $1,200: could be up to 6 months in jail, restitution payments, and/or up to $1,000 in fines. 
  • Property valued between $1,200 and $5,000: could be 1 to 4 years in prison, restitution payments and/or $5,000 in fines. 
  • Property valued between $5,000 and $25,000: could be 1 to 5 years in prison, restitution payments and/or up to $10,000 in fines.  
  • Property valued between $25,000 and $100,000: could be 1 to 10 years in prison, restitution payments and/or up to $10,000 in fines. 
  • Property valued at $100,000 or more: could be 1 to 20 years in prison, restitution payments and/or up to $15,000 in fines. 

Does Possessing Stolen Property Impact Your Immigration Status?

If convicted, a person in the country on a temporary visa could be deported. This kind of penalty usually comes into play when the amount of money attached to the stolen goods is significantly high. There is no question that any non-citizens who are charged with this kind of crime need to seek a criminal defense counsel immediately to best avoid conviction and potential deportation.    

What Are Some Defenses Against A Stolen Goods Charge?

There are many defenses that can be applied when a person is charged with a stolen goods crime. Some of these defenses include: 

  • The goods weren’t stolen
  • The goods were never in the defendant’s possession
  • The defendant didn’t know the goods were stolen
  • There was an illegal search

The next four sections will go into further detail on each one of the above-mentioned defenses that lawyers will commonly deploy during these types of criminal defense cases.

The Goods Weren’t Stolen

This defense requires concrete evidence that will show that the goods in question were actually not stolen. Evidence may include serial numbers and other tracking data that could be attached to the property. In some cases, a paper trail of payments and other information may also help prove that the goods weren’t stolen. An experienced lawyer will track down all of the details that can help make this a successful defense.   

The Goods Weren’t in the Defendant’s Possession

Another defense is proving that the defendant was never actually in possession of the goods. This again comes back to establishing proof that shows the goods never crossed over into the possession of the defendant. Being in the vicinity of stolen goods is not enough to charge someone with a crime. There are often varying circumstances that make up these scenarios, all of which a good criminal lawyer will be able to organize and clarify to show that possession never occurred if that was the case. 

The Defendant Didn’t Know The Goods Were Stolen

Many people who didn’t know the goods they purchased were illegal will ask this question: Is buying stolen goods illegal if you didn’t know they were stolen? This specific defense will revolve around the fact that the defendant had no way of knowing that the property was stolen. A second factor would be that there was no reason for the defendant to suspect that the goods were stolen. These two components of the argument are part of a common defense that will often get a case dismissed when the defendant was oblivious to the nature of the stolen items in question. 

There Was an Illegal Search

If law enforcement conducted an illegal search to find evidence, a lawyer could file a motion that would explain how the police violated the defendant’s constitutional rights. If the judge approves this motion, there would be a lack of evidence that would likely get the entire case dismissed. 

What Will The Prosecution Say?

In most cases, the prosecution will argue that the defendant should have realized that he or she was purchasing stolen goods. Many prosecutors will note if the items were below market price, if serial numbers were missing or if there were any other kinds of suspicious details that should have been considered “obvious” to the defendant. Because these details help paint a specific story, it is so important to hire a good criminal defense attorney that can build a proper defense to counter the prosecution. 

Choose John F. Marchiano Law if You’ve Been Charged With Possession of Stolen Goods

Being charged with a stolen goods crime is nothing to take lightly. In fact, these are very serious charges that can lead to serious consequences in the state of Nevada. For these reasons, it is vital to have an experienced criminal defense lawyer on your side who can build a defense that will get the charges dismissed. If you or a loved one are facing criminal charges, please reach out to us to get your defense started today.