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Receiving Stolen Property

Potts Lawyers > Criminal Law  > Fraud, Dishonesty & Theft Offences > Receiving Stolen Property

What the law says

Sections 433 of the Criminal Code Queensland states:

  1. Any person who receives anything which has been obtained by means of any act constituting an indictable offence, or by means of any act done at a place not in Queensland which if it had been done in Queensland would have constituted an indictable offence and which is an offence under the laws in force in the place where it was done, and has reason to believe the same to have been so obtained, is guilty of a crime.
  2. Where the thing so obtained has been-
    • (a) converted into other property in any manner whatsoever; or
    • (b) mortgaged or pledged or exchanged for any other property;
    • and person who, having reason to believe-
    • (c) that the said property is wholly or in part the property into which the thing so obtained has been converted or for which the same has been mortgaged or pledged or exchanged; and
    • (d) that the thing so obtained was obtained under such circumstances as to constitute a crime under subsection  (1)

What the police must prove

In order for the Police to prove their case at Court, they must prove each of the following matters beyond a reasonable doubt.

  1. The accused received the property. Receiving property means having it in your possession. A person has something in his possession, either alone or jointly with some other person, if:
    • (a) he has it in his physical custody; or
    • (b) he knowingly has it in a house, flat, building or other place under his control; or
    • (c) has aided in concealing it or disposing of it.
  2. The property was obtained by means of any act constituting an indictable offence. Property is stolen if it is taken from the owner, without the owner’s consent and with an intent to permanently deprive the owner of it.
  3. At the time the accused received the property he had reason to believe the property was stolen.

It will be necessary for the Police in every offence to prove that the accused was the person who committed the offence. Click here to learn more about identification evidence.

Maximum penalty

  1. If the offence by means of which the thing was obtained was a crime, the maximum penalty is 14 years imprisonment.
  2. If the thing received is a firearm or ammunition, the maximum penalty is 14 years imprisonment.
  3. If the accused received the thing while acting as a pawn broker or dealer in second hand goods, under a licence or otherwise, the maximum penalty is 14 years imprisonment.

In any other case the maximum penalty is 7 years imprisonment.

Which court will hear the matter

This matter may be indictable and be heard in the District Court. It may also be dealt with in the Magistrates Court.

Possible defences

Possible defences to this offence include but are not limited to

  1. Civil or contractual dispute.
  2. The accused did not receive the property
  3. The accused did not know the property was stolen
  4. Honest and mistaken belief owner had consented to him or her having the property.

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