How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Zoey_ JD Your Own Question
Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 27419
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
Type Your Criminal Law Question Here...
Zoey_ JD is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

how can police demonstrate if i bought something that was stolen?

This answer was rated:

how can police demonstrate if i bought something that was stolen? and how the prosecutor can demonstrate if i new or suppose to new that the goods were stolen? lets say i will say that i did not know? and would police look at me as a suspect ?

My name is XXXXX XXXXX I am an experienced criminal lawyer.

Normally, when the police get involved with a theft-related offense they have received a complaint from witness or a victim, along with a description of the stolen item. The police don't have to prove anything much to arrest you for this. All they need is something called probable cause.

Probable cause is just a reasonable belief that you may have knowingly purchased stole goods and the words of a credile complainant or eye witness can be enough to get a suspect arrested and charged with a crime.

To get a conviction on the case requires a much, MUCH higher standard of evidence. You cannot be convicted unless the DA can prove you knowingly purchased stolen property beyond a reasonable doubt. They would have the burden of proving that the item was in fact stolen and that you ought to have known it.

They can try to prove the latter circumstantially. For example, if you paid $100 for a car, you ought to know that something is very wrong with that deal, unless you bought it from a friend or family member.

Zoey_ JD and 4 other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you