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Receiving Stolen Motor Vehicles or Parts

Receiving Stolen Motor Vehicles or Parts is an offence under section 188(1)(a) of the Crimes Act 1900, which carries a maximum penalty of 12 years in prison.

To establish the offence, the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt that:

  1. You received, disposed of or attempted to dispose of property,
  2. The property was a motor vehicle or part thereof or vessel or part thereof,
  3. The property had been stolen,
  4. You knew the property had been stolen, and
  5. The stealing amounted to a serious indictable offence.

A ‘motor vehicle’ is defined as:

Any vehicle built to be propelled by a motor that forms part of the vehicle.

A ‘vessel’ is defined as:

A water craft of any description used or capable of being used as a means of transportation on water.

For the purposes of the offence, stealing includes:

‘taking, extorting, obtaining, embezzling, or otherwise disposing of property’.

A ‘serious indictable offence’ is one that carries a maximum penalty of at least 5 years in prison, which includes larceny and most stealing, extortion and embezzlement offences.

Defences to the charge include:

  1. Duress,
  2. Necessity, and
  3. Claim of right, which means you genuinely believed you were legally entitled to the property.

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