Criminal Law

questions & answers

Question: If I found a cell phone and had it in my possession for a week. The owner was able to track and came to retrieve the property. She then filed a stolen property report to the police, and I went to trial. is there a time limit on how long someone has to retrieve lost property? How can I get found guilty on theft when I didn't steal anything?

Answer:

There is no time limit for a victim to claim his/her property was lost or stolen. It may have been reported right away as lost/stolen and when you activated the phone it led them to you. If you possess an item and have knowledge that the item belongs to someone else or may have been stolen, you can be charged with possession of stolen property.

 See the following statute for further information:

A.R.S. § 13-1802 states that an individual commits theft when they come into contact with lost, mislaid, or misdelivered  property and fail to notify, or make a reasonable attempt to notify, the property owner.  

QUESTIONS

  • If I found a cell phone and had it in my possession for a week. The owner was able to track and came to retrieve the property. She then filed a stolen property report to the police, and I went to trial. is there a time limit on how long someone has to retrieve lost property? How can I get found guilty on theft when I didn't steal anything?

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