If you have been charged with the illegal possession of stolen things in Louisiana, you may be wondering what you need to do next and how a criminal defense lawyer can help you. It is important to understand what the laws are in Louisiana so that you know when you are actually in possession of stolen things and what defense will work the best for you. Your criminal defense attorney in Louisiana will also be able to talk about these with you as well and help you figure out a good defense and strategy if you are facing these charges.
What is illegal possession of stolen things?
The first thing to discuss with your criminal defense lawyer is what constitutes illegal possession of stolen things. In Louisiana, this means the intentional possession, receiving, procuring, or concealing of items that have value that have been subject to theft or robbery. This also includes any circumstances that indicate that the offender knew, or had reason to believe, that the item is subject to the above situations.
The main part here is that you had to know that the items where stolen. So, if someone gives you a birthday present and the item was stolen and you didn’t know about it, then you can’t be charged with illegal possession of stolen things. But if you knew that the item was stolen, or if there were signs that you should have recognized that showed the item was stolen, then you need to work with a criminal defense attorney in Louisiana to help you deal with these charges.
The Penalties of Illegal Possession of Stolen Things
There are different penalties based on the value associated with the stolen items. In some case, your criminal defense lawyer will be able to work on a plea bargain that can help reduce the penalty that you face, especially if the value of the item is close to the limit.
- If you commit the crime of illegal possession of stolen things and the value of all the things stolen is one $1500 or more, then you can face up to ten years in jail time, pay a fine of up to $3000, or both.
- The value of the items is $500 or more, but under the $1500 limit, the offender can face up to five years in prison, be fined up to $2000, or both.
- If the value of the items is less than $500, the offender may face up to six months in jail, be fined up to $1000, or both.
- You are convicted of receiving stolen items or of illegal possession of stolen things, two or more times in the past, all subsequent convictions shall include up to two years in prison and up to $2000 in fines.
If you have committed the crime of illegal possession of stolen things many times, the aggregate amount of the things that you received shall determine the type of offense that you are facing.
How a Criminal Defense Attorney in Louisiana can Help
Working with a criminal defense attorney can help if you are being charged with illegal possession of stolen things. They will come up with a strategy that can reduce the amount of fines and jail time you receive and even the type of charge you are dealing with.
For example, if the value of the items that you stole is $500 and it is your first offense, the criminal defense lawyer may be able to come up with a plea bargain that can get it down to the penalties if the items were under $500. They can also work to reduce the amount of jail time or fines that you have to pay for the offense, regardless of how much value the stolen items have.
In some cases, you may also need to work with a criminal defense lawyer to prove that you had no knowledge that the items were stolen in the first place. Many courts are quick to judge against someone who is in possession of stolen things, even if that person had no idea the items were stolen, and a criminal defense attorney in Louisiana can really help you out in these cases.
If you are being charged with illegal possession of stolen things and are looking for a criminal defense attorney in Louisiana, make sure to contact us at the Stephen Babcock Personal Injury Law Firm. Our team will be able to discuss your case with you and help you come up with the strategy that works best for your situation. Contact us today to get started.