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
recovered?

Asked on May 11, 2016 under Criminal Law, Missouri

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 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."


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