Receiving stolen property is a crime in Wisconsin.
But what if you didn’t know someone stole it when you received it? Can you still go to jail?
Your best bet is to talk to a Milwaukee criminal defense attorney who can give you case-specific guidance. Every case is different, and although the law applies to everyone, your circumstances may mean that you’re innocent.
Can I Go to Jail for Receiving Stolen Property?
Wisconsin law says that receiving stolen property is a serious crime. If the courts convict you of receiving stolen property, you could be guilty of a:
- Class A misdemeanor if the property’s value is less than $2,500
- Class I felony if the property’s value is between $2,500 and $5,000
- Class H felony if the property is a firearm, or if the property’s value is between $5,000 and $10,000
- Class G felony if the property’s value is more than $10,000
What Does It Take to Convict Someone of Receiving Stolen Property?
Your jury can convict you of receiving stolen property if you intentionally received or concealed (hid) stolen property, and the property was definitely stolen, and you knew it was stolen property.
If you weren’t aware that the property was stolen when you received it, you’re not guilty of a crime; it’s your lawyer’s job to show the court that you had no idea you were handling something that was stolen from someone else.
Let’s say a friend asks you to hold something valuable, like a diamond necklace. You trust your friend, and you hold on to the necklace. If it turns out that the necklace was stolen and you didn’t know that, you didn’t violate the law.
What if someone sells you something that’s stolen? If you knew it was stolen and you bought it anyway, the jury can convict you of a crime. However, if you had no idea the property was stolen and you bought it, you didn’t break the law.