can a person be charged with unrecovered stolen goods?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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can a person be charged with unrecovered stolen goods?

I was charged with receiving stolen
goods and two stealing charges also.
The items I am charged with have
never been recovered. Can I be
charged with items that have been
reported stolen but was never

Asked on May 11, 2016 under Criminal Law, Missouri


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Yes, there is no law stating that stolen goods must be recovered to charge someone with receiving them, just as you *can* have a murder case without a body. Obviously, having the stolen goods would be useful evidence for the prosecution, and their case is weaker without them--i.e. you may have a better chance of winning. But all they really need is enough credible evidence, whether in the form of believable testimony (such as from anyone who gave or sold you the stolen goods), your own admissions (if any), and any documentary or photographic or computer-based evidence, to show that you received the goods. To convict you, the evidence would have to be strong enough to show this "beyond a reasonable doubt."

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 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.

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