If I unknowingly received and sold stolen property, what will happen to me?
I had a friend with a gun cabinet holding onto my shot gun after hunting season last year. I wanted to sell my gun. He gave me what he thought was my gun. I had only used this one time since I bought it, so it had the right color barrel and stock and it looked like mine. I held onto it for a few months and then triedto sell it. They offered me more money than I thought it was worth. I took the money and immediately called my friend. He said he thought that he accidentally gave me his gun. It was his brother's gun and he is now claiming to go to the police. What can I do?
Criminal liability depends on a criminal state of mind, called mens rea, as well as a criminal action. For the most part, including in cases like this, if you truly thought it was your gun and had a right to sell it--and that belief was reasonable (e.g. it was the same or a very similar make to yours; when your friend gave you the gun, he said or indicated it was yours; etc.)--then you probably will not face criminal liability, though you certainly coulc be sued by the gun's actual owner (the brother) to receive either the gun's value or the amount you in fact were paid for it. You in turn might be able to sue your friend for his role in causing this problem and causing you to incur liability. So you will very likely have to pay money, but if you truly though it was your gun, it's unlikely you'd face jail.