What to do if I apparently I was in possession of a stolen laptop but did not know that it was stolen when it was given to me?.

UPDATED: Dec 16, 2013

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Dec 16, 2013Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

What to do if I apparently I was in possession of a stolen laptop but did not know that it was stolen when it was given to me?.

I got it around my senior year in HS from this guy that always loitered around the park across the street. Long story short, I don’t have contact w/ him, never had contact with him other than physically being in front of him, and I don’t know his last name just his 1st.I came home from Canada about a year ago and my parents had told me the police came by for it so I gave it to my parents. I recently found it in my mom’s closet so I took it and used it b/c I thought they just lied about the police coming for it. I spoke to the police today and basically told them just that and they will be contacting me for further questioning. Am I OK?

Asked on December 16, 2013 under Criminal Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Two things are necessary for criminal liability:

1) A criminal act, like receiving stolen goods; and

2) A criminal intention or state of mind (called "mens rea").

IF you truly did not know it was stolen--which includes not having reason to know or suspect it was stoken; that is, you're not allowed to turn a "blind eye" when any reasonable person would have known or suspected criminality--then you would not have had the necessary intention and would not have committed a crime.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption