Receiving Stolen Goods


Receiving Stolen Property is contained in section 188 of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) which states:

“(1) Whosoever receives, or disposes of, or attempts to dispose of, any property, the stealing whereof amounts to a serious indictable offence, knowing the same to have been stolen, shall be guilty of a serious indictable offence, and may be indicted, either as an accessory after the fact, or for a substantive offence, and in the latter case whether the principal offender has been previously tried or not, or is amenable to justice or not, and in either case is guilty of an offence”:

 The nature and elements of the offence of receiving stolen property were considered in R v Raad [1983] 3 NSWLR 344 wherein the court held that the prosecution had to prove that the defendant actually believed the property was stolen in the sense that they accepted the truth that it was stolen. Mere suspicion was not sufficient. 


Maximum/Possible Penalties

Receiving stolen goods can be punished with a prison sentence of up to 2 years (if heard in the Local Court) or

Can be punished in the District Court with a prison sentence of up to 12 years if:

(a) the property is a motor vehicle or a motor vehicle part, or a vessel or a vessel part; or

(b) in the case of any other property, to imprisonment for 10 years.

Please note that the penalties mentioned are reserved for the worse case offending and are unlikely to be the penalty you receive.

In NSW, a court can impose any of the following penalties for a Receiving stolen goods charge of:

  • Full time Imprisonment
  • Intensive Corrections Order (ICO)
  • Community Correction Order (CCO)
  • Conditional release Order (CRO) (ie: bond)



Since Receiving stolen goods is a criminal offence, the burden of proof lies on the Prosecution. The prosecution must prove each of the following matters beyond reasonable doubt being that:

  1. The property was stolen; and
  2. The defendant took possession not merely custody of the goods; and
  3. The defendant must have/had the belief that the property was stolen.

Thus, to establish Receiving stolen goods,

  • That you accepted or received property;
  • That property was stolen;
  • The property was stolen in a manner that amounted to a serious indictable offence; and
  • You knew the property was stolen.



Some of the possible defences available can include:

  • To argue that you did not actually receive the property;
  • To argue that the property was not stolen;
  • To argue that the property was not stolen in a way that amounted to a strictly indictable offence; or
  • If you were compelled to act in a certain way due to the circumstances, or the threats of another you may be able to argue “Duress”



For Receiving Stolen Goods, Rep-Revive Criminal Lawyers® offers the following options:

  1. We initiate negotiation with prosecutors (police) (a term referred to as “plea negotiations”) and plead to withdrawal or downgrade of the charge or alternatively, seek amendments to the police fact sheets or documents.
  2. At the hearing/trial, Rep-Revive Criminal Lawyers® shall if you so instruct Plead Not Guilty and drive the argument based on prosecution’s inability to prove the elements of their accusation.
  3. Alternatively, Rep-Revive Criminal Lawyers® may plead guilty on your instructions however, the hearing shall revolve around the facts with an objective to obtain a moderate or minimum punishment.
  4. Lastly, Rep-Revive Criminal Lawyers® on your instructions enter a plea of guilt where you accept all the charges pressed by the police, but we present a case so solid on your behalf, with an objective to persuade and convince the Court to not record a criminal conviction against you.

For further information on your choices at law click on (CHOICES AT LAW tab on our website)



There are several reasons to engage Rep-Revive Criminal Lawyers®:

  •  We are always in your corner

At Rep-Revive Criminal Lawyers® we understand the gravity of a criminal charge on your reputation. Thus, we work with the utmost diligence and fervour to restore any dints to our client’s repute. We fight for your rights and liberty earnestly, and for the best results, irrespective of the intensity of the matter. All these factors have made us known in the industry as always being in our client’s corner. 

  •  We bring about excellent results

Rep-Revive Criminal Lawyers® is driven by positive outcomes and defend your case with skills which have been sharpened by years of experience. You will be dealing with lawyers who are proficient at their craft and will defend your case with rigour and an aim to have the matter withdrawn, downgraded, dismissed or the minimal penalty available at law imposed.

Rep-Revive Criminal Lawyers® are adept in all forms of advocacy and will present your case in the most skilful manner in Court. 

  • Your case will be in the hands of an experienced lawyer

Irrespective of your decision in deciding the course of the case, you will be supported and guided by Rep-Revive Criminal Lawyers® who have been in the provision of legal service for over 21 years. 

If you are charged with an offence, our team at Rep-Revive Criminal Lawyers® are best suited for representing your case.

Please contact our office on 0419 998 398 or 0492 857 721 or email for more information. The first consultation is free.


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