Being found in possession of stolen property, however large or small, can have serious repercussions. Furthermore, while you are under investigation, you could face suspension from your job and damage to your reputation. Although being faced with a theft charge is distressing and exhausting, it is important to stay calm and focus on your defense. A charge is no guarantee of a conviction and many innocent people face false allegations at one time or another.
A recent incident in Victorville, California, led to the arrest of two people. The pair, aged 24 and 32, were pulled over on National Trails Highway after an officer noticed their truck matched the description of one reported stolen earlier that day. During the arrest, the 24-year-old is also alleged to have been in possession of a quantity of methamphetamine.
The pair now face charges of vehicle theft, while the 24-year-old has also been charged with drug possession. However, police will need to determine whether both defendants were aware the vehicle was stolen and whether they had any involvement in its theft. A conviction could have severe consequences for both of them, as they may be given lengthy prison sentences, or forced to pay large fines.
Unfortunately, it is possible to be charged with theft even if you had no idea that the item in your possession was stolen. Nevertheless, you can challenge these charges and reassert your innocence by ensuring the jury hears your side of the story. There is no need to act alone, however and legal advice can be invaluable. An attorney may be able to help you to build your defense and decide how to plead in order to reach the best possible outcome.
Source: Victorville Daily Press, "Helendale pair suspected of dump truck theft," Jose Quintero, June 14, 2014