How is value determined in a receiving stolen property case?

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How is value determined in a receiving stolen property case?

I am currently being charged with receiving stolen property over $500 which is a felony. The item in question is a used computer that was not purchased new by the person it was stolen from. I have been offered 5 years but I don’t believe the computer is worth $500. Can I dispute the assigned value? Do I need to speak with a criminal defense attorney? In Barren County, KY.

Asked on September 13, 2010 under Criminal Law, Kentucky

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You should seek legal help as soon as you can.  Although the particulars of the purchase by the purchaser do not really matter here, the situation may help "mitigate" the value.  How the property is valued is probably present value but age and reseal may come in to play.  Computers are not like fine jewelry or a valued painting that appreciate.  They are more like cars that depreciate and devalue the second you drive them off the lot.  A good attorney can help you with this and help to put things in perspective.  Maybe even whittle it down to a misdemeanor, especailly if the value placed on it by the police and the prosecutors is arbitrary. You should not go this alone.  Good luck.


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