Definition of Receiving/Concealing Stolen Property
Receiving or concealing stolen property is defined in 21 O.S. § 1713. It occurs when someone buys or receives, in any manner, upon any consideration, any personal property of any value whatsoever that has been stolen, embezzled, or obtained by false pretense or robbery. The recipient must know or have reasonable cause to believe the property to have been stolen, embezzled, or obtained by false pretense or robbery—or the person conceals, withholds, or aids in concealing or withholding such property from the owner.
The statute uses a reasonable person standard to determine if you received stolen property under such circumstances that would cause you to believe that the property was indeed stolen. If you, without making reasonable inquiry, buy, receive, conceal, withhold, or aid in concealing or withholding any property that has been stolen, embezzled, or obtained by false pretense or robbery, or otherwise feloniously obtained, under such circumstances as should cause such person to make reasonable inquiry to ascertain that the person from whom such property was bought or received had the legal right to sell or deliver it will be presumed to have bought or received such property knowing it to have been stolen or wrongfully obtained. This presumption may, however, be rebutted by proof.
The statute relies upon the belief that a reasonable person would make an inquiry to ascertain from whom the property was bought or received and if that individual had a legal right to sell or deliver it. If these questions cannot be answered, the law presumes that the individual who bought or received such property knew it to be stolen or unlawfully obtained. In other words, even if somebody received stolen property and did not know that it was stolen but the circumstances surrounding it were so fishy that a reasonable person would have asked to find out if it was stolen, then that individual can still be found guilty of receiving stolen property.
Receiving Stolen Property in Oklahoma
When the crime charged is receiving stolen property, it’s not necessary to allege the ownership of the property, or from whom the property was stolen. However, it is necessary to allege the person from whom the stolen property was received, or that the person from whom the stolen property was received is unknown. A variance between the allegation in the information as to from whom the property was received and the evidence at trial as to from whom the property was actually received requires
reversal of the conviction. This pleading requirement, concerning from whom the stolen property was received, relates to procedural due process requirements, mandating the pleading of sufficient information to enable the defendant to prepare a defense. The name of the person from whom the stolen property was received is not an element of the crime.
Concealing Stolen Property in Oklahoma
When the crime charged is concealing stolen property, it would seem to be necessary to allege the name of either the owner of the property or of the person having possessory rights in the property. Although the statutory language indicates that the crime of concealing stolen property is concealment from the owner, the word “owner” should not be interpreted literally. The word “owner” should also include a person who has possessory rights in the property that is being concealed. This construction is in accord with the concept that larceny is a crime against possession, regardless of ownership.
Punishment For Receiving Or Concealing Stolen Property
This crime is a misdemeanor if the value of the property is less than $1,000. The maximum fine is $500, and the maximum punishment in the county jail is six months.
This crime is a felony if the value of the property is $1,000 or more. The maximum punishment in the Department of Corrections is five years, and the maximum punishment in the county jail is one year. The maximum fine is $500. Voters approved a change to this statute on November 8, 2017 by passing State Question 780. The change went into effect on July 1, 2017.
Source: 21 O.S. § 1713
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Current as of: November 20, 2017