Receiving and Concealing Stolen Property

Representing Clients In Macomb, Washtenaw, Wayne, Genesee County, and all over the State of Michigan.


Understanding Michigan’s stolen property laws is key because they are complicated, with many details that could lead to unintentional missteps. Whether you’ve unexpectedly found yourself facing legal issues or are actively seeking to understand these complex rules, being informed is your best defense. It equips you with the confidence to handle these difficult situations. By familiarizing yourself with the specifics of stolen property laws, can help you to avoid unintended violations and be well-prepared for any legal challenges you might encounter.

Is Receiving Stolen Property a Felony in Michigan?

In Michigan, the situation is clear: if you’re caught receiving or hiding stolen goods, you could be facing felony charges, especially if the items are worth a lot. The law in this state is direct and to the point; the more valuable the stolen property, the harsher the punishment. Specifically, if the property’s value ranges from $1,000 to $20,000, or if you’ve been caught doing something similar before, you’re looking at serious consequences. These include hefty fines and the possibility of spending time in jail. It’s crucial for anyone involved in such situations, or those wanting to avoid legal trouble – to understand just how serious these charges can be.

What are the Charges for Stolen Property in Michigan?

In Michigan, the consequences for dealing with stolen property vary widely, mainly depending on how much the items are worth. If the goods are valued at less than $200, you might be looking at misdemeanor charges. The penalty could be up to 93 days in jail, a fine of up to $500.00, or three times the property’s value, whichever is more. 

But as the value of the stolen items increases, so does the severity of the charges you could face. For high-value goods, this could mean significant fines and long prison sentences. The key point to remember is that these charges can have a serious impact on your life.

MCL 750.535 – Buying, Receiving, or Concealing Stolen Property

MCL 750.535 defines what property and how much that property needs to be worth for a felony or misdemeanor crime to be charged. This law has many caveats however here is a very brief breakdown:

  • If the value is $20,000 or more, it’s a serious crime (felony) with a punishment of up to 10 years in jail or a fine up to $15,000, or three times the value of the items, whichever is more. Jail and a fine are both possible.
  • If the value is between $1,000 and $20,000, and the person has two or more previous similar convictions, it’s also a felony with the same penalties as above.
  • For items valued between $1,000 and $20,000 (without the prior convictions) or between $200 and $1,000 with at least one prior conviction, the crime is still a felony, but the maximum jail time is 5 years and the maximum fine is $10,000.
  • If the value is between $200 and $1,000 (without prior convictions) or less than $200 with a prior conviction, it’s a less serious crime (misdemeanor) with up to 1 year in jail or a $2,000 fine, or three times the value of the items.
  • For items valued under $200 with no prior convictions, it’s a misdemeanor with up to 93 days in jail or a $500 fine, or three times the value.
  • If someone steals multiple times within 12 months, the total value of stolen items is added together for sentencing.
  • Buying, having, hiding, or helping hide a stolen vehicle knowing it’s stolen is a felony with up to 5 years in jail or a $10,000 fine. If charged with this, one can’t be punished for the same incident under another law, but other laws can still apply.

The information on this page is not legal advice. For specialized legal counsel please contact our firm or an experienced criminal defense attorney in Michigan.

Can Minors Face Charges for Receiving Stolen Property?

Yes, in Michigan, minors can face charges for receiving stolen property. However, it’s important to note that the juvenile justice system focuses more on fixing behavior than just punishing. The consequences for minors are quite different from adults, aiming more at helping them correct their actions rather than harsh penalties. Still, the impact on a young person’s future highlights why it’s crucial to get good legal help if a minor is involved in these situations. Engaging an experienced attorney can provide the guidance needed to navigate the legal process and seek outcomes that prioritize the minor’s well-being and future prospects.

Can You be Charged with Racketeering if You Receive Stolen Property?

Racketeering is a term usually associated with organized crime and involves committing crimes as part of a larger, illegal operation. In Michigan, if you’re caught receiving stolen property and it’s part of wider criminal activities, you could be facing racketeering charges under the tough RICO Act. The consequences of these charges are serious, including the possibility of large fines and long-term prison sentences. This highlights how crucial it is to have a good lawyer if you find yourself in this kind of complicated legal situation.

May Law Enforcement Seize Assets Related to Stolen Property?

In Michigan, police have the power to take away assets that are connected to criminal activities, including cases of stolen property. This means not only can they seize the stolen items, but also anything bought with the money made from selling those stolen items. Dealing with asset forfeiture is complex and understanding your rights and the legal process is crucial. This is why a knowledgeable lawyer to fight on your behalf is so important.

How Do Prior Convictions Impact Your Case?

Having previous convictions, particularly for theft, can heavily influence the severity of charges and penalties in cases involving receiving stolen property. The law usually imposes tougher consequences on repeat offenders to discourage further wrongdoing. This increase in potential penalties highlights the importance of getting experienced legal help if you have a criminal history and are facing new charges. 

The Importance of Legal Representation in Stolen Property Cases

Being charged with receiving and concealing stolen property in Michigan can trigger a whirlwind of emotions, from overwhelming confusion to deep concern. Yet, taking the time to understand the nature of these charges, their possible consequences, and the defenses at your disposal is a crucial first step in facing these challenges head-on. Remember the law is designed to protect the rights of the accused, and with a well-thought-out strategy and professional legal advice, finding a favorable outcome is within reach.

Are you facing charges for receiving and concealing stolen property? At DuPlessis Law, we offer the support and expertise needed to navigate these complexities and aim for a positive resolution. Don’t face this situation alone; our experienced team is here to explore all options with you. Empower yourself by contacting us today for expert guidance and support.