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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 110442
Experience:  Attorney with over 20 years law enforcement, prosecution, civil rights and defense experience
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Customer Question

Texas, Hood county. My son got involved with pawning stolen proptery. He didn't know it was stolen at the time but found out it was yeasterday. He told me about it and I'm trying to help him. He has not been charged with anything so far. I'm thinking about having him pick it up and turning it into the police but need guidance. He has never been arrested.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 3 years ago.
Picking it up and turning it into the police without doing so through the representation of an attorney can be deemed as a confession. In order to convict someone of possession of stolen property, the DA has to prove that your son "knew or should have known" the property was stolen. The courts consider such factors such as how he acquired the property and if he bought it the price he paid for it. Generally, if someone spends close to market value for the property this can be shown to defeat knowledge that the property was stolen. He should not however contact the police without an attorney representing him because anything he tells them can be used against him. Also, the pawn shop may not release the property to him even if he pays them and it is more likely they have already notified the police and if that is the case then your son definitely needs an attorney and should not make any statements to the police without an attorney.

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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

My son never bought the property but the person owned the property was with him when they pawned it but tolld my son he didn't have his ID with him.does this faqct influnce anything?

Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 3 years ago.
Yes, if the person who owned the property can be proven to have been in the shop with him when it was pawned it would be a defense, but it sounds like this "friend" set your son up and may not have actually owned this property and your son really needs an attorney here because this is sounding like the friend did not own this property and knew what he was doing when he got your son to use his ID.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I don't know if you received my follow up question , so here it is again. The person who had the property was with my son when he pawned it but said he didn't have his ID with him and asked my son to pawn it for him. Like an idiot he did it and signed the paperwork at the pawn shop. Is this relevent?

Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 3 years ago.
I did and I believe my answer and your second reply may have crossed paths. Do you see my reply above? The botXXXXX XXXXXne is the DA is not going to believe that your son did not know or should not have known something was wrong with this situation, so you need to get your son an attorney involved immediately to try to protect himself and it may require turning in his friend to make a deal for no prosecution of your son.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

If my son pays the pawn and picks up the property without being arrested then what is the best avenue to persue?

Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 3 years ago.
If they let him pick up the property, which is not likely as they have to by law notify the police when they discover stolen property, he still needs an attorney because anything your son does with this now is going to still be used against him to show he knew or should have known the property was stolen. But if by some chance he gets the property, then he should surrender it to the police to determine the owner, since if he gives it back to his friend who set him up it would still be a problem as it is likely the friend does not own this property.

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