Sunday, November 17, 2013

People v. Rojas case brief

People v. Rojas case brief summary
358 P.2d 921 (1961)

Defendants appealed a judgment of the Superior Court of Los Angeles County (California) that found them guilty of a charge of receiving stolen property. The first defendant was granted probation and the second defendant was sentenced to state prison.

Defendants were involved in a scheme to buy stolen electrical appliances or electrical materials from a thief. The police intercepted the stolen property before the crime could be consummated by defendants. Defendants were charged with receiving stolen property and found guilty.

On appeal, defendants urged that they were not guilty of any crime, or, at most, of an attempt to receive stolen property because when they received the property, it had been recovered by police and was no longer in a stolen condition.

The State argued that the crime of receiving stolen property was completed when the thief began its asportation toward defendants.

  • The court found defendants guilty of attempting to receive stolen goods, and their conviction of receiving stolen property was reversed and modified to find them guilty of the lesser offense of attempting to receive stolen property. 
  • The court held that defendants' intent was criminal regardless of whether the police made it impossible to effectuate their intent. 
  • The criminality of the attempt was not destroyed by the fact that the goods had lost their "stolen" status due to police recovery.

The court reversed the judgment and probation order of the trial court, and defendants' charge was modified to the offense of attempting to receive stolen property. The cause was remanded to the trial court for further proceedings.

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