Section 2913.51 of the Ohio Revised Code defines Receiving Stolen Property as follows:
(A) No person shall receive, retain, or dispose of property of another knowing or having reasonable cause to believe that the property has been obtained through commission of a theft offense.
(B) It is not a defense to a charge of receiving stolen property in violation of this section that the property was obtained by means other than through the commission of a theft offense if the property was explicitly represented to the accused person as being obtained through the commission of a theft offense.
(C) Whoever violates this section is guilty of receiving stolen property. Except as otherwise provided in this division or division (D) of this section, receiving stolen property is a misdemeanor of the first degree. If the value of the property involved is one thousand dollars or more and is less than seven thousand five hundred dollars, if the property involved is any of the property listed in section 2913.71 of the Revised Code, receiving stolen property is a felony of the fifth degree.
If the property involved is a motor vehicle, as defined in section 4501.01 of the Revised Code, if the property involved is a dangerous drug, as defined in section 4729.01 of the Revised Code, if the value of the property involved is seven thousand five hundred dollars or more and is less than one hundred fifty thousand dollars, or if the property involved is a firearm or dangerous ordnance, as defined in section 2923.11 of the Revised Code, receiving stolen property is a felony of the fourth degree. If the value of the property involved is one hundred fifty thousand dollars or more, receiving stolen property is a felony of the third degree.
(D) Except as provided in division (C) of this section with respect to property involved in a violation of this section with a value of seven thousand five hundred dollars or more, if the property involved in violation of this section is a special purchase article as defined in section 4737.04 of the Revised Code or a bulk merchandise container as defined in section 4737.012 of the Revised Code, a violation of this section is receiving a stolen special purchase article or articles or receiving a stolen bulk merchandise container or containers, a felony of the fifth degree.
Receiving Stolen Property (RSP)
Receiving stolen property in Ohio (often referred to as “RSP”) is a serious offense that can result in misdemeanor or felony charges, depending on the type and/or value of the stolen property. You cannot claim innocence if there is reason to believe that you were indeed aware that the property was stolen and did not report it. Even if you were not involved in the commission of a theft offense, knowledge that the property you have received has been stolen may result in being charged with a crime. Disposing of the stolen property is not a defense to RSP.
Receiving Stolen Property as a Misdemeanor and Fifth-Degree Felony
In Ohio, receiving stolen property is a misdemeanor of the first degree (M-1) if the value of the property is less than $1,000.00. If convicted, an M-1 is punishable up six months in jail, a fine not to exceed $1,000 and restitution can be ordered. An M-1 RSP is also a probationable offense. However, depending on the type and/or value of the stolen property, the criminal charge of RSP can escalate from an M-1 to a felony. RSP is a fifth-degree felony if you are convicted of being in receipt of stolen property that is valued over $1,000 and less than $7,500 or the property is stolen credit cards, license plates, blank checks, blank BMV forms or stolen bulk merchandise containers, which are anything used by a manufacturer to ship merchandise to retail outlets. The property can also range from beer kegs, grave markers and highway/street signs to more commonplace items, such as a grocery cart, etc. A felony of the fifth degree is punishable from six to twelve months in prison, a fine not to exceed $2,500 and you may be ordered to pay restitution. In lieu of prison you may be placed on probation for up to five years.
Receiving Stolen Property as a Third and Fourth Degree Felony
RSP is a fourth-degree felony if the stolen property is greater than $7,500 and less than $150,000 or if the property is a stolen motor vehicle, a firearm, dangerous ordinance which includes a sawed-off firearm, zip-gun, ballistic knife, etc. or a dangerous drug. RSP is a third-degree felony if the stolen property is valued above $150,000.
A felony of the fourth degree is punishable from 6 to 18 months in prison, a fine not to exceed $5,000. A felony of the third degree is punishable from 9, 12, 18, 24, 30 or to 36 months in prison, and a fine not to exceed $10,000.
An individual that is convicted of a 3rd or 4th degree felony RSP may be placed on probation for up to 5 years instead of being imprisoned. Restitution may also be order by the Court.
The criminal charge of Receiving Stolen Property has varying degrees of criminal penalties and a variety of possible defenses, which is why an experienced defense attorney is vital to your case. Regardless of your lack of involvement in a theft, reasonable suspicion of receiving stolen property is all that is necessary to be charged with (an possibly convicted of) a crime that will have an adverse impact on your life.
If you have been charged with Receiving Stolen Property in Ohio
If you have been charged with receiving stolen property in Ohio, an experienced criminal defense attorney will help determine whether you have any defenses to the charge(s) and thoroughly discuss your options. Should you decide to go to trial, a skilled defense attorney is an absolute necessity. For more information and a free consultation, please contact Jeff Hastings, experienced Cleveland Criminal Defense Attorney.