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Handling stolen goods is a criminal offence and is detailed under the Theft Act of 1968.

Whether the goods are handled during the act of stealing, or you receive the goods knowing that they’ve been stolen, you assist in their retention; you help to dispose of them or remove them – all of these are acts that constitute the handling stolen goods offence. You could be asked to attend court, and this could lead to being found guilty of this offence.

To understand more about this offence, let’s look at what may be considered committing this office. An example of this offence is when somebody steals a car radio and sells it onto a third party who is aware that it is stolen. It may even have been stolen to order. The thief can also be found to be guilty of handling stolen goods if he continues to handle the goods after having stolen them.

If you’re involved in an investigation for this office, you must take the legal guidance of criminal solicitors as quickly as possible.

Have you been charged or arrested for handling stolen goods?   

If you’ve already been charged or arrested for the offence of handling stolen goods, you’ll already be feeling under pressure.

On this page, we have listed answers to some of your questions about an investigation into this crime. If you don’t find the answer that you need here, then contact us as our legal team are always happy to answer questions and provide initial guidance. We offer a 30-minute free consultation too.

You can reach us by calling 0203 888 5225. Alternatively, if you’ve been arrested and need immediate help, we can be reached 24/7 on 07980 000 076.

Which acts are handling stolen goods?

Here are some of the acts that people can do and then become involved in a handling stolen goods investigation:

Knowing that the goods are stolen  – for instance, you may decide to buy a television from a friend who has already told you that the television is stolen property.

Hiding the goods for a friend – for example, you may have been asked by a friend to store the stolen property until they aren’t quite so ‘hot’. The fact that you know that they are stolen, but you are retaining them on behalf of the new ‘owner’ will mean that you are knowingly handling stolen goods.

It is also an offence to advertise that the return of stolen goods will result in an award being given, and no questions will be asked. The fine for such an act is typically £1000.

Besides the examples listed above, there are other situations which can also be categorised as the handling of stolen goods offence. You can call us about your personal circumstances and get an opinion from one of our legal team by calling 0208 888 5225 for a no-obligation chat.  Otherwise, you can complete our contact form and we will get in touch with you.

What happens in an investigation into a handling stolen goods offence?

If you are caught handling stolen goods, the police will want to make some investigations. They will be interested in what’s happened, who was involved and what the goods are and where they are now. They will have a number of questions for you and may want to come to your home or workplace to search for evidence.

It’s no surprise that every offence, including handling stolen goods offences is different. However, the one thing that they have in common is that you must speak with a lawyer who has experience in this field of law. Doing this will give you the best chance of getting the most favourable outcome.

Being under investigation by the police and being asked to attend a meeting with the police should be taken very seriously. By taking the advice of a legal professional, you’ll put yourself in an advantageous position. The lawyer can guide you and provide you with the support you need to get the most favourable outcome.

Have you been falsely accused of handling stolen goods?

Some of our clients come to us when they are wrongly accused of being involved in handling stolen goods.

As part of their work on who was involved in a crime and what their role was, the police may sometimes make accusations that are incorrect. They want to find out more about a crime and will therefore ‘throw some mud’.

When you choose which lawyer to hire, you’ll be helping yourself if you opt to work with a solicitor who has already been defending people in handling stolen goods cases. Ideally, they will have handled cases that have come to a successful outcome with minimal impact on the accused.

Take a lawyer with you to the interview

No doubt taking a lawyer with you to any police interview is the right thing to do. One of the significant benefits that not everybody is aware of is that if you take a solicitor, they can demand to see any evidence that the police have and of which you’re not aware.

If you are arrested by the police, then you should not expect to be shown all the evidence that the police have on you. The fact that police withhold evidence as part of their work on gaining convictions should be met with the engagement of an expert legal specialist.

The magistrate or court can give the police permission to access all areas of your life in the form of a search warrant. Your computer, tablet and phone will be scrutinised to find evidence.

Hire a legal professional as soon as possible

You must take a lawyer with you to any police interview. It’s what will make all the difference between whether you receive a harsh sentence or something more favourable.

Much of the time, what happens at the police interview is what will determine the outcome of any court case.

The training that is given to the police is designed to help them to make more convictions. Although you may be told about some evidence that the police have, they may also keep some of it back and use it to see if you will incriminate yourself.

The questions in the interview will be very probing and designed to trip you up.

By hiring an experienced lawyer, you’ll be helping yourself to achieve the best outcome from the situation.

Have you been charged or arrested with handling stolen goods?

When you are arrested, the next step will be to attend the police interview. At a time like this, you need a solicitor with you to guide and support you.

The laws in the UK can change rapidly. With this in mind, it’s not advisable to try to represent yourself without being a qualified lawyer. Law can be very complicated, and without knowing how you can apply it to help your case, you won’t be doing yourself any favours. Our legal team is made up of people who have experience in every legal field plus their network of barristers, QCs and forensic analysts.

The most powerful way to defend in any case is to check all evidence, including visual proof, witness statements etc. Our forensic analysts can often find weaknesses in the evidence provided by the police, which means that a stronger defence can be constructed.

Anyway who needs to attend court needs all the help they can get to ensure that they do not go along the path of being found guilty and convicted.

Will the police search my home?

The police will approach a judge or magistrate for a search warrant. Once permission is granted, the police will search your property to find any evidence of the stolen goods you are meant to have handled, any communications that prove you were involved in the crime and any phone bill information that ties you in.

Does being convicted mean going to prison?

If your handling stolen goods case goes to court, and you are found guilty and convicted, you may get a prison sentence, depending on what the circumstances are.

What punishment could you get for handling stolen goods?

A handling stolen goods case can lead to a prison sentence if you are found guilty and convicted. The penalty you’re handed may stretch as long as years in prison, depending on what your role was and the value of the goods that were handled.

Read more about sentencing for Handling stolen goods offences

Does a handling stolen goods conviction lead to a criminal record?

If your handling stolen goods case progresses to court, and you are convicted, you will be given a permanent criminal record.

A criminal record to your name can affect future career and financial options. By taking early action and hiring the best lawyer for the task, you may even be able to avoid going to court in the first place.

Read a guide to possible defences for Handling Stolen Goods Offences

How can Stuart Miller Solicitors help?

The lawyers at Stuart Miller Solicitors have in-depth knowledge of all kinds of cases. Using their skills and determination in defending cases has led to a lot of successful outcomes for clients including those who have been involved in handling stolen goods offences. You can find out more about how we’ve helped clients by visiting our cases area on this website.

Our lawyers aren’t just some of the most determined and proactive in the UK, but they have a broad network of QCs, Barristers and forensic analysts. Their network combined with dynamic and quick thinking legal minds means that they are a most formidable team.

Every person on the team is handpicked for their ability to help clients. When we hire, we don’t just look for somebody who knows how to win cases, we also ensure that they have a good ‘bedside’ manner so that they can provide the understanding and support that is required at a time like this.

You can book a free consultation with a handling stolen goods Solicitor by calling 0208 888 5225.

Call us to discuss your case  

For a no-obligation telephone chat or a face to face meeting to discuss your case, call us today on 0208 888 5225. Our team are very friendly and approachable, despite being some of the best legal minds in the country. Calling us is also a chance to get to know us before you decide whether to work with us. We can help you with any concerns or questions you may have.

Contact our legal team for a meeting, whether it’s face to face or by phone. We can meet with you online too if that is your preference. Besides, you may wish to send us a WhatsApp message which you can do from your smartphone by clicking the link below.


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