Stolen Property

In contrast to the theft offenses, which involve the actual taking of property, criminal offenses under the category of stolen property involve the use of property, without the owner’s consent, when the person either knew or should have known that the property was stolen.

Trafficking in Stolen Property

In Washington, D.C., it is illegal to traffic in property the person knows or should know is stolen.  Trafficking is defined as being on either the selling/distributing or buying/receiving end on more than one occasion.  Property means anything of value.  Trafficking in stolen property is a felony offense.  The penalty is a maximum fine of $10,000 and/or imprisonment for up to 10 years.  D.C. Criminal Code 22-3231.

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Receiving Stolen Property

There are three elements to the criminal offense of receiving stolen property in Washington, D.C.  First, the person needs to buy, receive, possess or obtain control of the property.  Second, the person needs to know or have reason to believe that the property was stolen.  Third, the person needs to intend to deprive someone else of the right to or benefit of the property.   Property means anything of value.

Receiving stolen property is a felony offense if the value of the stolen property is $250 or more.  In that case, the penalty is a maximum fine of $5,000 and/or imprisonment for up to 7 years.  It is a misdemeanor offense if the value of the stolen property is less than $250.  In that case, the penalty is a maximum fine of $1,000 and/or imprisonment of up to 180 days.  D.C. Criminal Code 22-3232.

Unauthorized Use of Motor Vehicles

There are four elements to the criminal offense of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle in Washington, D.C.  First, the person needs to take, use, operate or remove the vehicle.  Second, the taking/use needs to be for the person’s own profit, use or purpose.  Third, the taking/use needs to be without the owner’s consent.  Fourth, the person needs to know that he or she was acting without the owner’s consent.  “Motor vehicle” is defined as any automobile, self-propelled mobile home, motorcycle, truck, truck tractor, or bus.  It is not necessary that the person actually stole the vehicle or intended to steal it.

Unauthorized use of a motor vehicle is a felony offense.  The penalty  is a maximum fine of $1,000 and/or imprisonment for up to 5 years.  D.C. Criminal Code 22-3215.