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Criminal Law Keyed to Weaver
State v. McCoy
Citation:116 N.J. 293, 561 A.2d 582 (1989)
The Defendant, McCoy, was arrested and indicted for receiving a stolen vehicle. Following his indictment, the Defendant pled guilty pursuant to a plea agreement. In providing a factual basis for his plea, he described the events of the incident. The Defendant stated that he was walking down the street when his friend drove by in a car, calling him over and he was about to get into the car with his friend. As soon as he placed his hands on the car, a cop told him to freeze and the Defendant ran. The Defendant was later apprehended by the cop. The Defendant testified that he was about to get into the car with his friend and ride around in it. He further testified that he knew the car was stolen. The trial court ascertained that his plea was knowing and voluntary and that the Defendant knew and understood his rights. Prior to sentencing, the Defendant moved to withdraw his plea, but the trial court concluded that the plea was supported by an adequate factual basis.
The Defendant appealed his conviction on the grounds that there was an insufficient factual basis to support the plea. The Appellate Division found that the facts were insufficient to establish that the Defendant had “received” the stolen automobile under N.J.S.A. [§]2C:20-7. Under, [§]2C:20-7 receipt equates with possession, which the statute defined as “intentional control and dominion.” In comparing the Defendant to an innocent passenger, the Appellate Division concluded there was no evidence that the Defendant intended to control the vehicle or that he and the driver were on a joint commission. Additionally, the Appellate Division stated that there was no evidence that the Defendant was in a position to assert dominion or control over the driver of the vehicle. However, the Appellate Division recognized that the Defendant’s conduct could subject him to a charge of attempted receipt of stolen property.
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