Attorney Gregory H. Comings
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Buying or Receiving a Stolen Vehicle

Theft Defense Lawyer for Residents of Riverside and San Bernardino Counties

If you have been charged with the crime of buying or receiving a stolen vehicle, it is important to speak with a skilled California criminal defense lawyer early in your case. As a wobbler offense, the punishment for receiving a stolen vehicle can result in years of imprisonment and thousands of dollars in fines. However, a vigorous legal defense can minimize, or even dismiss criminal charges. At The Law Offices of Gregory H. Comings, we provide Riverside residents with legal defense tailored to the specific circumstances of their crime. Attorney Comings draws upon different legal strategies to contest criminal charges and takes pride in providing efficient and effective representation to clients throughout Southern California.

Buying or Receiving a Stolen Vehicle According to California Law

According to Penal Code section 496d PC, it is a crime to either buy or receive a stolen vehicle and know that the vehicle is stolen. It is also a crime to sell or withhold a stolen vehicle with knowledge that the vehicle is stolen. If convicted, you may face up to three years in state prison and a fine up to ten thousand dollars.

All elements of the crime of buying or receiving a stolen vehicle must be proven in order for the prosecution to secure a successful conviction under California Penal Code 496d. These include buying or receiving a motor vehicle, (or trailer, special construction equipment, or vessel), or concealing, selling, or withholding a motor vehicle, and when acting, knowing that the motor vehicle was stolen. “Vessel” includes all kinds of ships, steamships, sailing vessels, as well as other boats and barges.

There are varying examples of buying and receiving a stolen vehicle. These may include helping a friend steal a boat, and then turning around and selling it to another person. If you knowingly take title to a car that a friend stole, you may be deemed guilty of Penal Code section 496d.

As a wobbler crime, violating Penal Code 496d may lead to either misdemeanor or felony charges. Misdemeanor convictions are punishable by custody in jail up to one year, and/or a fine up to one thousand dollars. A felony conviction can lead to three years imprisonment, and a fine up to ten thousand dollars. Other related crimes are receiving stolen property and grand theft auto.

Challenge Criminal Charges for Theft

A skilled defense lawyer can challenge criminal charges for PC 496d. Attacking the evidence that supports the prosecution’s case may be step one. For instance, the prosecution must show knowledge that the property in question was stolen. Additionally, violation of the law cannot be an accident. If you bought or received a stolen vehicle and were unaware that the vehicle was stolen, you cannot be deemed guilty under this law.

If by accident you purchased or bought the vehicle, the defense may argue there was no criminal intent. If you did not act with criminal negligence, and were otherwise engaged in lawful conduct at the time of the accident, this may be a strong defense.

At the time of your arrest, if law enforcement undertook unlawful search and seizure methods, you may be able to argue that your constitutional rights were violated. In this situation, the evidence would be inadmissible. The law requires that law enforcement have a warrant, or a legal excuse for not having a warrant, in order to search and seize an item. If stolen property is located during an unlawful search, a judge may reduce or drop resulting criminal charges.

Discuss the Details of Your Case with a Skilled Riverside Theft Crimes Lawyer

It can be overwhelming to face criminal proceedings, particularly for theft charges of buying or receiving a stolen vehicle. To fight felony or misdemeanor charges for auto theft, contact the Riverside Law Offices of Gregory H. Comings today. Our office provides a free consultation and can be reached at (951) 686-3457 or online.

Client Reviews
"Amazing attorney. Kind, compassionate man. Look no further...this is your guy!" D.F.
"Gregory Comings IS THE MOST AMAZING CRIMINAL ATTORNEY IN ALL OF RIVERSIDE COUNTY OR ANY COUNTY! Never have I met anyone that was so passionate and so involved with not only their clients but with their clients family as well!... S.A.
"Being in the business, I have access to hundreds of criminal defense attorneys. When a family member ran into legal problems, I sent them to Mr. Comings. Mr. Comings provided a passionate and aggressive defense... K.L.