Couple Who Sold Used Cars On Facebook Marketplace Accused Of Receiving Stolen Property
“Possession is nine tenths of the law” is one of those proverbs that run through people’s heads when they have reason to believe that they will be charged with a crime, but which you should not try to act on when consulting a lawyer. The words “possession is nine tenths of the law” do not appear anywhere in the legal code. The closest thing to their application is that, in real estate property disputes in civil court, it is sometimes possible to persuade the court that you have become the de facto owner of a piece of land because the original owner abandoned it, but even then, the courts decide on a case-by-case basis, and case law also tells of landlords who, after a long absence, were able to evict squatters from their land. When it comes to theft crimes, whether or not the item is in your possession when the police find it is not what determines whether or not there is enough evidence to convict you. If you are being accused of a crime related to stealing or stolen property, contact a Pittsburgh theft crimes lawyer.
Pennsylvania Receiving Stolen Property Laws
According to Pennsylvania law, you can be charged with the crime of receiving stolen property if you purchased or accepted an item of movable property (that is, not real estate property), and you knew or should reasonably have known that the item was stolen. The crime can range from a third-degree misdemeanor, in the case of stolen property valued at $50 or less, to a third-degree felony, in the case of stolen property valued at $2,000 or more. Defenses to charges of receiving stolen property relate to whether the property was really stolen, whether you knew or should have known that it was stolen, and whether police had the right to conduct the search during which they found it. Clearly, “possession is nine tenths of the law” does not apply here; context is everything.
In the News
Anas Soubai, 27, and Ilham Driouich, 23, are husband and wife, and they are currently facing charges for receiving stolen property, among other theft crimes. The receiving stolen property charges arise from an incident in which they drove from their home in Harrisburg to Cleveland to retrieve a 2019 Maserati that they had bought on Facebook Marketplace. After they returned to Pennsylvania with the car, which they allegedly planned to resell, police in Pennsylvania discovered that the car had been reported stolen in Ohio. As evidence that the defendants planned to resell the car, police cite communications between the defendants and a prospective buyer, in which the defendants claim that they lost the car’s title.
Contact Gary E. Gerson About Receiving Stolen Property Cases
A criminal defense lawyer can represent you in criminal court coming up with much more appropriate defenses than “possession is nine tenths of the law.” Contact the law offices of Gary E. Gerson in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania about your case.