Transporting Stolen Property

The unlawful moving of property, especially when it crosses state lines, is a crime that law enforcement agencies take very seriously.


As a subset of white-collar crime, interstate transport of stolen property, also known as "fencing," can lead to severe penalties and significantly impact one's reputation and livelihood. This kind of offense is codified under federal and state laws, making it doubly important to understand its legal landscape.

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An Overview of The National Stolen Property Act (18 U.S.C. § 2314)

The National Stolen Property Act (NSPA), codified under 18 U.S.C. § 2314, is a significant statute in federal laws combating theft and interstate transportation of stolen property.


This Act criminalizes the transportation, receipt, possession, or disposal of stolen goods, securities, money, or tangible property worth $5,000 or more when those items have crossed a U.S. state or national boundary.


As a federal law, the NSPA is not limited to a particular type of stolen property - it broadly covers anything of tangible value.


The pivotal element here is the interstate or international transport of said stolen property.


Remember that the Act focuses on transportation and the receipt, possession, or disposal of such property, making its scope fairly comprehensive.

Interstate Transportation of Stolen Property

How Interstate Transport of Stolen Property is Treated Under Arizona Revised Statutes

In addition to federal laws like the NSPA, state laws also play a significant role in shaping the legal response to the interstate transport of stolen property. In Arizona, theft and related crimes are codified under Title 13, Chapter 18 of the Arizona Revised Statutes (A.R.S.).


Under ARS § 13-1802, theft occurs when a person, without lawful authority, knowingly controls another person's property with the intent to deprive them of such property. The penalty for theft ranges from a class 1 misdemeanor to a class 2 felony, depending on the value of the stolen property.


Moreover, ARS § 13-2301 defines trafficking in stolen property as a class 2 felony, illustrating the severity with which Arizona treats such offenses.


When it comes to the transportation of stolen property across state lines, though, it becomes a federal issue - hence the application of the NSPA. But remember, Arizona law will still apply to any theft within the state.

18 U.S.C. § 2314 - Interstate transportation of stolen property

What are Some Related Charges?

Other federal statutes related to theft and interstate transport of stolen property are worth understanding. 


Here are a few of them:

  • 1

    18 U.S.C. 2312 - Motor Vehicle Theft or Transportation

    This federal law prohibits the transportation of stolen motor vehicles across state lines. You can be imprisoned for up to ten years if you're found guilty under this law.

  • 2

    18 U.S.C. 2315 – Sale or Receipt of Stolen Vehicles

    This law criminalizes the sale, receipt, or possession of any stolen goods, securities, money, or tangible property worth $5,000 or more that have been transported across state lines.

  • 3

    18 U.S.C. 659 – Theft from Interstate Shipment

    This law makes it illegal to steal goods from a vehicle, depot, or terminal that are part of an interstate or foreign shipment of freight or express. Violations of this law can carry a sentence of up to ten years in prison.

The crime becomes a federal offense in these cases because it involves crossing state lines. This is a significant factor that elevates the severity of the crime and the potential penalties.

Potential Federal and State Penalties for Interstate Transport of Stolen Property

The penalties for being found guilty of interstate transport of stolen property can be severe. As per 18 U.S.C. § 2314, federal law stipulates penalties of fines, imprisonment for up to ten years, or both. 


The penalties can be equally as severe at the state level in Arizona.


For instance, as per A.R.S. § 13-2301, trafficking in stolen property in the first degree is considered a class 2 felony, one of the highest felony classes.


Such a conviction could lead to extensive prison terms and significant fines. Moreover, having a felony conviction on your record can drastically impact your life, leading to difficulties finding employment and limiting certain rights and privileges.

stolen property

How to Effectively Challenge Charges of Interstate Transport of Stolen Property

The complexity of interstate transport of stolen property cases necessitates robust and carefully crafted defense strategies. It is important to note that each case is unique and demands a personalized approach.


However, there are a few common defenses that may be effective. One strategy is challenging the evidence of theft or possession. If the prosecution cannot prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the property was stolen or that the defendant knowingly possessed stolen goods, the case might not hold.


Another strategy involves questioning the evidence of interstate transportation. If it can be shown that the stolen property did not cross state lines, the federal charges might not apply.


Also, the value of the property might be disputed. As per the NSPA, the stolen goods must be worth $5,000 or more. The federal charges might be challenged if the property's value is less.

The Importance of Engaging The Kolsrud Law Office in Interstate Transport of Stolen Property Cases

Facing charges for interstate transport of stolen property can be an intimidating experience, given the potential penalties and life-altering consequences. This is where understanding your rights and having competent legal representation comes in.


At Kolsrud Law Office, we have experienced federal criminal defense attorneys who can navigate the complexities of these cases. They can dissect the nuances of both federal and Arizona state laws, helping you understand the charges you face and your rights.


While the interstate transport of stolen property is a serious offense carrying significant penalties, you don't have to face it alone. Call Kolsrud Law today for a free consultation.

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