If you are friends with people who like to walk on the wild side, you know how to be careful not to get caught up with them in any scams. Unfortunately, there are ways that make you criminally culpable for crimes they commit, even if you are not aware of them. If you have been charged with receiving stolen property for your friends, you may have a hard time untangling yourself from this web. Here are some steps to take to get rid of a receiving stolen property charge.
Print your phone records/write down an account of how you got the property
Sometimes, friends will ask if they can leave things with you until they are able to transport them home. Others may just leave things laying around your home and you may assume that they left it on accident. Unfortunately, law enforcement may not readily believe that you didn't know the property was stolen. For this reason, you should print out any cellphone records, such as text messages where the person told you that the property was theirs and that they would come to retrieve it shortly. If you believed and were told that the property belonged to your friend, it may be more difficult to prosecute you for receiving stolen property. If you don't have phone records, write down a specific account of how you got the property and ask any witnesses who were there with you during the conversation to write a witness statement on your behalf.
Hire a felony defense attorney
Receiving stolen property has the option to be a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the prosecutor's decision. Depending on how the police and prosecutors feel about the evidence of the case and the defendant who stole the property, it can be labeled a felony. Hiring a felony defense attorney, whether you are charged with a misdemeanor or felony, will help you to beat the charge. Be sure to give your lawyer all of the facts of the case and the truth of your personal account. This way, they can work out a defense and possible plea.
Offer information and go on the stand
If you are in the situation of being charged with receiving stolen property or possession of stolen property due to trusting a friend, it may be a good idea to work with the police. Have your lawyer work out a deal to get the charges dismissed or to receive short term probation in exchange for providing them with information. Being able to aid the police can make them willing to view you as trustworthy and drop the charges. If necessary, you may have to produce an affidavit or you may have to take the stand. If it means starting your life over on a clean slate or decreasing your possible consequences, this can be the best step to take.
Click here for a felony defense attorney Tacoma, WA, or do an online search.