Receiving & Concealing Stolen Property

R&C Stolen Property

Lansing Michigan criminal defense attorney

Receiving and concealing stolen property is when someone buys, receives, possesses, conceals, or aids in the concealment of property that is embezzled, stolen, or converted. Receiving and concealing stolen property can either be a misdemeanor or felony depending on the value of the stolen property and if the person has any prior offenses for the same charge.

Receiving and Concealing Stolen Property Penalties

If any of the following apply, that person is guilty of a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $15,000 or three times the value of the property, whichever is greater:

  • The value of the property is $20,000 or more
  • The value of the property is $1,000-20,000 and the person has two or more prior convictions of receiving and concealing stolen property

If any of the following apply, that person is guilty of a felony punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine up to $10,000 or three times the value of the property, whichever is greater:

  • The value of the property is $1,000-20,000
  • The value of the property is $200-1,000 and the person has one or more prior convictions for receiving and concealing stolen property

If any of the following apply, that person is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine up to $2,000 or three times the value of the property, whichever is greater:

  • The value of the property is $200-1,000
  • The value of the property is less than $200 and the person has one or more prior convictions for receiving and concealing stolen property or an equivalent offense under a local ordinance.

If the value of the property is less than $200 and the person has no prior receiving and concealing stolen property convictions, that person is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by up to 93 days in jail and a fine up to $500 or three times the value of the property, whichever is greater.

Receiving and Concealing a Stolen Motor Vehicle

The charge is the same only with the added element that the stolen property is a motor vehicle. This is a felony punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine up to $10,000 or three times the value of the property, whichever is greater.

Time May be Aggregated to Determine the Value of the Property

The value of the property may be aggregated to determine the total value if part of a scheme or course of conduct within any 12-month period.

Defenses

The key element in this charge is what I call the “knowing” element. Any person charged with this offense must have known or had reason to know that the property was stolen. This is not a strict liability crime. In other words, it is not enough for the prosecutor to prove that you were in possession of stolen property. They have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you knew it was stolen or you should have known it was stolen. This can be proven by circumstantial evidence, ex. serial numbers scratched off, someone with a trench coat in an alley offering to sell you a $100 gold Rolex, etc. Likewise, it is not a defense to the charge if the property was not actually stolen. If the property was represented to you as being stolen at the time you possessed or concealed it, you are guilty even if it was later determined that the property wasn’t stolen.

Lansing Michigan Criminal Defense Attorney

Receiving and concealing stolen property can leave an indelible mark on your record as any crime of theft or dishonesty can. If you have been charged with receiving and concealing stolen property you need an experienced criminal defense attorney to fight for you. Call Austin Legal Services, PLC today at (517) 614-1983 for a free consultation today!

Defending charges of receiving and concealing stolen property throughout Michigan in the counties of Ingham, Eaton, Clinton, Gratiot, Livingston, Kent, Jackson, Shiawassee, Washtenaw in the cities of Lansing, East Lansing, Mason, Charlotte, St. Johns, Ithaca, Howell, Brighton, Grand Rapids, Jackson, Corunna, Ann Arbor.

Filing a False Police Report

Filing a False Police Report

Lansing Michigan False Police Report Defense Attorney

It is a crime to intentionally report a crime knowing that it did not happen. The consequences you face depend on the severity of the false report. A person is guilty of filing a false police report if they:

  1. Intentionally make a false report or intentionally causes a false report of the commission of a crime to be made
  2. The false report is made to a peace officer, police agency of the state or local unit of government, 911 operator, or any other governmental employee or contractor or employee of a contractor who is authorized to receive reports of a crime
  3. The person making the report or causes the report to be made knows the report is false.

Is Filing a False Report a Misdemeanor or Felony?

It depends on what the false report is. If it is a false report of a misdemeanor, then it is a misdemeanor offense punishable by up to 93 days and/or a $500 fine. If it is a false report of a felony, then it is a felony punishable by up to four years in prison and/or a $2,000 fine.

Heightened Punishment for False Reports Causing Injury or Death

The consequences are more severe for filing false police reports that cause someone to be injured, suffer a serious impairment of a bodily function, or death. The injury or death must have occurred as a proximate result of lawful conduct in response to address the reported crime. If the false police report results in physical injury, that person is guilty of a felony punishable by up to five years in prison and/or a $20,000 fine. If the false police report results in a serious impairment of a bodily function, that person is guilty of a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison and/or a $25,000 fine. If the false police report results in death, that person is guilty of a felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison and/or a fine of at least $25,000 but no more than $50,000.

Defenses

It is not enough that someone reported a crime that turned out to be false. To be guilty of this offense, that person must have intentionally made or caused to be made such a report knowing that it was false. If the person had a good faith belief that a crime was occurring or had occurred and turned out to be wrong, that person is not guilty of this offense. If the charge involves filing a false police report involving an injury, serious bodily impairment, or death, it must have occurred as a proximate cause of the false police report.

Lansing Michigan Criminal Defense Attorney

If you have been charged with filing a false police report, you need an experienced and dedicate advocate to fight for you. Call Austin Legal Services, PLC today at (517) 614-1983 to speak to a criminal defense attorney today!

Defending charges of filing a false police report throughout Michigan in the counties of Ingham, Eaton, Clinton, Gratiot, Livingston, Kent, Jackson, Shiawassee, Washtenaw in the cities of Lansing, East Lansing, Mason, Charlotte, St. Johns, Ithaca, Howell, Brighton, Grand Rapids, Jackson, Corunna, Ann Arbor.

Withdrawing Your Guilty Plea

Withdraw Plea 2

Lansing Michigan Criminal Defense Attorney

I often receive calls from clients who have entered a guilty or no contest plea and now want to withdraw their plea and go back to the drawing board. Is it possible to withdraw your plea? It is, but it’s not easy. It widely depends on whether you have already been sentenced and your reasons for wanting to withdraw your guilty plea.

Do I Have an Automatic Right to Withdraw my Guilty Plea?

Generally the answer is “no,” you do not have an automatic right to withdraw your plea. Until recently, the Michigan Court Rules allowed a defendant an automatic right to withdraw their plea if the sentencing judge chose not to honor a sentencing agreement or recommendation (Killebrew and Cobbs agreements). However, the court rules were modified this year that a defendant no longer has an automatic right to withdraw his plea if that happens. Although, it has been my experience that most judges still present the defendant with this option if that occurs.

Withdrawing Your Plea Before Sentencing

One thing is certain: it is easier to withdraw your plea before sentencing as opposed to after sentencing. Do not confuse easier with easy. A defendant cannot simply withdraw his plea because he has “buyer’s remorse.” In other words, if a defendant decides he is dissatisfied with the deal, believes he could have gotten a better deal, or decides he wants to take the matter to trial, the court will not let him to withdraw his plea. A defendant’s true motive and concern must be something other than a sentencing. If the court were to be so liberal in allowing defendants to withdraw pleas, it would create havoc on court dockets and there would be no sense of finality to virtually any case.

The court should allow a defendant to withdraw his plea before sentencing unless the prosecutor would be prejudiced by not being able to prosecute the defendant because of the reliance on the plea. Most successful plea withdrawals are due to procedural errors in the plea taking process. That is why it is important to have an experienced Michigan criminal defense attorney thoroughly review the plea transcripts to determine if the court rules and procedures were properly followed. Absent a procedural error, the defendant would have to show a “fair and just reason” for withdrawing the plea and that it would be “in the interests of justice.” If his attorney did not properly advise him of the consequences of his plea, that could make the plea not knowing, voluntary, and understanding which is required by the court rules.

If the defendant asserted his innocence before the plea, the court should view the request more liberally. Although it isn’t a requirement, a lot of courts will view a request to withdraw a plea more liberally if the defendant was not represented by a lawyer when he made the plea. However, not all judges will give that deference.

Withdrawing a Plea After Sentencing

Withdrawing a plea after sentencing is a much higher obstacle to clear. Under Michigan Court Rule 6.310, a defendant has up to six months to file a motion to withdraw a plea after sentencing with the trial court. After that, any relief he seeks will have to be in the Court of Appeals. Usually these motions arise when there is “newly discovered evidence” or evidence of Defendant’s “actual innocence.”

Lansing Michigan Criminal Defense Attorney

Withdrawing a plea is not an easy task. It may not even be in your best interest to try because even if successful, that means you start from scratch and could end up with a worse outcome than before. To determine if you are eligible to withdraw your plea or if it is in your best interest, contact Austin Legal Services, PLC to speak to a Michigan criminal defense lawyer today at (517) 614-1983.

Defending felony and misdemeanor criminal charges throughout Michigan in the counties of Ingham, Eaton, Clinton, Livingston, Jackson, Kent, Calhoun, Barry in the cities of Lansing, East Lansing, Mason, Jackson, St. Johns, Brighton, Howell, Jackson, Grand Rapids, Battle Creek, Hastings.