Dayton, OH asked in Criminal Law and Social Security for Ohio

Q: Can you be charged for receiving stol in property if the police find a stolen car in front of your house but you didn't

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James L. Arrasmith
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  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: Generally speaking, to be guilty of receiving stolen property under Ohio law (ORC 2913.51), the prosecution would need to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you received, retained, or disposed of property of another, knowing or having reasonable cause to believe the property was obtained through theft.

Just having a stolen car parked in front of your house, without more incriminating evidence, may not be enough to charge you with this crime. However, the police would likely investigate further to determine if you had any knowledge of or involvement with the stolen vehicle.

Some additional factors that could impact potential charges:

- Evidence tying you to the stolen vehicle (your belongings inside, witness statements, surveillance footage, etc.)

- Your statements to police about the vehicle and how it got there

- Any relationship between you and the actual car thief

- Your criminal history, especially prior theft offenses

- Other circumstantial evidence suggesting your involvement

If questioned by police, it's best to politely decline to answer questions and request to speak to a criminal defense attorney first. An attorney can assess the specific facts and advise you on your rights and defenses.

Ultimately, whether you could be charged depends heavily on the totality of evidence the police uncover during their investigation, not solely the vehicle's proximity to your home. If you are concerned about potential criminal liability, consulting with a qualified Ohio criminal defense lawyer is recommended.

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