Possession of Stolen Property Lawyer Winnipeg

Possession of Stolen Property

The offence of Possession of Property Obtain by Crime, also commonly referred to as “PPOBC” or “possession of stolen property”, is the act of being in possession of goods or proceeds of a criminal origin.

In order be convicted of possession of property obtained by crime, the Crown must prove beyond a reasonable doubt, the following elements of the offence:

  1. That you were in possession of the property or proceeds;
  2. You knew or should have known that the property or proceeds was obtained by means of a criminal offence (i.e. theft, fraud, robbery, ect…);
  3. The good belonged to someone else, or the proceeds were obtained by criminal means;
  4. The value of the property; and,
  5. That you did not have a colour of right to the property or proceeds.

Possession of Stolen Property Sentencing

The sentence for possession of possession of property obtained by crime varies widely depending on the background of the offender and the circumstances of the offence.

If the value of the property or proceeds is under $5000, you can receive up to two years in jail. If the value is over $5000, you could receive up to ten years in jail. The court can also place you on probation for up to a period of three years, and order that you pays fines and restitution.

This conviction would also appear on your criminal record. Individuals convicted of possessing stolen property are viewed as less trustworthy which can make it more difficult to obtain employment where you are required to handle valuable property or money.

Defending Possession of Stolen Property Charges

In preparing your defence, I will conduct thorough review of your case. A common defence is that you were not in “possession” of the property. In order for the Crown to prove possession, they must prove you had both knowledge of the property and control over the property. The Crown Attorney will attempt to possession by relying upon the evidence, along with complicated legal principles such as “wilful blindness”, “exclusive opportunity”, and “the doctrine of recent possession”.

When preparing your defence, we will review all the evidence together and discuss your case. During our review I will focus on:

• If the police were compliant with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms?
• Can the Crown Attorney can prove the property was stolen or obtained by criminal means?
• Did you believe you had a colour of right to possess the property?
• Can the Crown Attorney prove that you had knowledge and control of the property?

Due to the complex nature of the issues that arise in stolen property cases, it is important to have representation from a lawyer familiar with this area of law. Depending on your background and the circumstances surrounding your case, I may be able to resolve your matter by having your charge diverted out of the court system.

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