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Tom B.
Tom B., Barrister & Solicitor
Category: Canada Law
Satisfied Customers: 2415
Experience:  25 years in practice
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We just found out a trailer I let a friend was stolen Me and

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We just found out a trailer I let a friend was stolen Me and a friend bought a trailer In alberta over 2 years ago can you be charged with stolen property if you didn't know it was stolen when it was bought we can't find recipt or guy who we got trailer from
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Canada Law
Expert:  Tom B. replied 2 years ago.
HelloVery doubtful on your facts that you could be charged.It is all fact based. On the facts should a purchaser have known or ought to have known that a property was stolen? That is the test. The latter part of the test is what is called "willful blindness" whereby a purchaser just did not care to know if the goods were stolen or not.So if someone buys something in a bar from someone they do not know, then questions will be raised. If in all of the circumstances (receipt loss aside) a reasonable person thought they were buying goods that were not stolen, then there is no real possibility of a charge of possession of stolen property beyond a reasonable doubt. There is always evidence other than a receipt. There will be a cheque or even a bank record of a withdrawal for cash on the same day. If you paid somewhere near fair market value then the Crown will have difficulty in proving you knew the trailer was stolen. It is all fact based. The Crown must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a person knew the goods were stolen. Having said that, if the Crown can prove a valuable piece of merchandise was sold at a silly price, then the onus goes to the purchaser to explain why.Then, a receipt could help but maybe the receipt was a fraud as well. My suggestion is to not panic but to cooperate if you really did not know. Your remedy is to try and find the culprit and sue or perhaps police will see it as a fraud against you and proffer further charges against the culprit. I would not expect much in that regard however.You will probably never see the trailer again because it has to be returned to the owner. But, if you did not know, say so. If you did not know and were not willfully blind to it being stolen property then you cannot be convicted if believed by a judge. Before that even gets there, the Crown lawyers must think there is sufficient evidence on the facts that you did know. For now, I would let it go. If there is more to the story, consult your own criminal defence lawyer.Cheers,Tom

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