Buying stolen goods in Las VegasNevada law NRS 205.275 prohibits knowingly buying, receiving, or being in possession of stolen goods.

A person commits an offense of receiving stolen goods if the person, for his or her own gain or to prevent the owner from reclaiming the property, buys, receives, possesses, or withholds property while either knowing that it is stolen or under such circumstances that would lead a reasonable person to believe that the property is stolen.

For example, if a person is selling a set of genuine diamond jewelry that includes earrings, a necklace, bracelet, and ring, and it is priced at $25, a reasonable person would likely stop and ask questions about the low price and, depending on the context and situation, should suspect that the jewelry was stolen.

Similarly, if a person is given a firearm with an obliterated serial number, a reasonable person should know that the firearm was stolen. The statute defines stolen goods as property that has been taken from its owner through larceny, robbery, burglary, embezzlement, theft, or any other offense that is a crime against property, and does not require that the person who stole the property be convicted or even prosecuted.

Penalties For Theft in Las Vegas

The grading of the offense and the potential sentence depend on the value of the stolen property. If the property is valued at less than $650.00, the person buying or receiving the stolen goods is guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by no more than six months in the county jail and a maximum fine of $1,000.00.

If the value of the property is between $650.00 and $3,500.00, the person buying or receiving the property is guilty of a Category C felony, punishable by a minimum term of incarceration of one year and a maximum of five years with a potential fine of $10,000.00.

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If the value of the property is over $3,500.00 or a firearm, regardless of the value, the person buying or receiving the stolen goods is guilty of a category B felony, punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for a minimum of one year and a maximum of ten years and a fine of no more than $10,000.00.

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In addition to these penalties, restitution for the value of the stolen property will also be ordered. Restitution is a payment made with the intention of making the original owner of the stolen property whole.

Evidence in Theft Cases

The statute also considers what may be considered evidence of possessing, buying, or receiving stolen goods. Under this statute, if a defendant possesses three or more of the same or similar items  where the manufacturer’s serial number or other identification number has been removed, altered, or defaced, this is considered prima facie evidence that the defendant is knowingly possessing stolen property.

It does not matter if the person who actually stole the property is prosecuted or convicted; if someone is found buying, receiving, or possessing stolen property, they can be convicted regardless of whether the thief was prosecuted or not.

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What happens in a criminal case in Nevada?

In any case, the first step is the arraignment. At the arraignment, the Defendant will plead not guilty, guilty, or no contest. Hiring the best attorney prior to the arraignment will give you the best chance of success with your case, whether that’s a dismissal, acquittal (not guilty verdict by a jury), or a negotiated plea deal.

If the Defendant pleads either guilty or no contest, the case proceeds to a pretrial conference. At the pretrial conference, the prosecutor makes a sentencing recommendation based on the severity of the crime (in this case, the value of the property), the input of the victim, and the defendant’s entire criminal history.

Your Las Vegas Criminal Defense Attorney will be with you throughout the entire process, so contact us today for a free consultation.

If the defendant rejects the prosecution’s offer or the defendant pleads not guilty at the arraignment, the case will proceed during trial. During the pretrial period, your attorney and the prosecution will exchange any documentation and information considered discovery, your attorney will hire any experts that may be necessary (if, for example, there is a dispute as to the value of an item), and will prepare the defense and trial strategy and do all necessary preparations.

In addition, any appropriate pretrial motions will be filed, such as a motion to suppress any statements made or any illegal searches that found the property.

Best Defense Strategies for Theft Cases

There are several defenses that may be available to you depending on the facts of your case. Your criminal defense attorney will be best situated to determine any available defenses after reviewing and discussing your case in more detail. Some of the potential defenses are that the property was yours before it was stolen (for example, if someone steals your bicycle and lists it for sale on Craigs List or Facebook Marketplace and you purchase the bicycle back) or not knowing that the item was stolen (going back to the genuine diamond jewelry set purchased for $25 – if the seller tells the buyer that it is costume jewelry inherited from a grandparent, the seller might have no way of knowing that the jewelry set was stolen).

Hiring the best criminal defense attorney as quickly as possible is essential to protecting your rights and ensuring the best possible outcome contact us today for a free consultation and to get started.

Your attorney will be able to guide you through the process, make the appropriate recommendations for your case based on all the facts, and potentially negotiate a better sentence or lesser charge, like pleading to a Category C felony rather than a Category B felony. Hiring an attorney may also be beneficial prior to charges being brought against you, since an attorney will help protect you and your rights during an investigation, such as being present during any questioning by police or advising you if you still have the property in your possession.

Your attorney can advise you on the most appropriate course of action prior to charges being filed, after charges are filed, and throughout the entire process of the prosecution. Your Las Vegas Criminal Defense attorney will be on your side and will help ensure the best outcome for you.

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