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Can I be charged with theft of an item if I did not actually steal it? I did purchase a stolen item, but did not know it.

Azle, TX |

I was found in possesion of a stolen vehicle, but I did not know that it was stolen. It had a salvaged title. I have been charged with Theft 20k-100k.

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Attorney answers 3


You can certainly be charged with it. It will be up to the state to try to prove the allegations. This case might lend itself to a grand jury presentation to try to prevent an indictment. If the grand jury rejects the case, it's over. When you're interviewing attorneys, ask them about this possibility.

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Charged and convicted are obviously different things. A prosecutor can usually get a grand jury to return an indictment on near any case presented. Whether it can be proven in court is another question. If you do not have a reputable criminal defense lawyer, you need to get one and to tell that lawyer what you say here.

Answers on Avvo are for general information purposes only and should not be relied upon as legal advice. No attorney / client relationship is created by providing this answer. For specific advice about your situation, you should consult a competent attorney of your choosing.


Even if you cannot be found guilty of Theft, possession of stolen property is also a crime if you knew about it. I would contact a Criminal attorney ASAP and look for any documentation- like a copy of the check you bought the car with hopefully- to prove you didn't steal it.

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