possession of stolen goods

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Possession of stolen goods is a crime where a person knowingly acquires or transports property that has been unlawfully obtained. As outlined in the North Carolina case of State v. Sellers, possession of stolen goods has four key elements: (1) that a person is in possession of property (2) that was stolen, (3) which the person in possession of the property knew or reasonably believed it was stolen, (4) and that the possessor was acting dishonestly. The crime can be either a misdemeanor or a felony. This usually depends on either the value of the stolen property or the type of property that was stolen. The amount required or the categories of property that bump possession of stolen goods up to a felony vary from state to state.

[Last updated in July of 2020 by the Wex Definitions Team]