Dealing in Stolen Property
One of the most pervasive crimes in this state is that of theft. Defendants charged with petit theft, grand theft, burglary and other theft charges appear before Florida courts each and every day. Ask a person off of the street if they have ever been the victim of a crime and a large percentage of the population will tell you that they have been the victim of a theft or burglary. This begs the question of: what happens to stolen goods after they are stolen? Sure sometimes, people steal goods to use them. But the vast majority of thefts are committed with monetary gain as the primary motivation.
Because the main motivation behind most thefts is money, the State of Florida has instituted a criminal offense designed to harshly punish not just those who steal, but those who seek to profit off of the ill gotten gains of theft. The resulting criminal charge is known as dealing in stolen property. If you or a loved one are facing charges for dealing in stolen property, it is critical that you contact an experienced St. Petersburg criminal defense attorney to build your defense.Elements and Penalties Of Dealing in Stolen Property
The crime of dealing in stolen property is laid out in Florida Statute 812.019. The law states that it is a second degree felony for anyone to traffic in or attempt to traffic in property that he or she knew or should have known was stolen. Dealing in stolen property is punished much more severely than the act of theft itself. Typically, a grand theft is a third degree felony. Dealing in stolen property regardless of the value of the property is a second degree felony punishable by a maximum of fifteen years in prison or on probation. A criminal charge for a second degree felony also often results in a conviction if the defendant is found guilty. Should you be convicted of a felony offense, many of your civil rights will be stripped and the charge will remain on your record forever.
An enhanced first degree felony is also in place to punish those who are accused of organizing the sale of stolen property. It is unlawful for any person to “organize, plan, finance, direct, manage, or supervise the theft of property and traffic in such property.” This offense punishes those who are accused of running an organization or scheme to further the theft and sale of stolen property. If you have been accused of this offense, you could be facing up to thirty years imprisonment along with a mandatory felony conviction. If you have found yourself charged with either type of dealing in stolen property, you should contact a dedicated St. Petersburg criminal defense attorney right away.Pawn Shops
Many naïve or inexperienced criminals will turn to pawn shops in order to attempt to profit off of stolen goods. This is often a grave mistake. Most dealing in stolen property cases arise out of sales or attempted sales to pawn shops. Unfortunately for those who are caught trying to sell stolen goods, pawn shops are required to have robust security and recordkeeping measures in place. If you attempt to sell any goods to a pawnbroker, they will require you to present photo identification and to provide a thumbprint that can be used to identify you to law enforcement. Pawn shops also contribute to a database of reportedly stolen goods so that law enforcement can cross reference with their inventory.
Smarter offenders might attempt to take advantage of an oblivious and innocent partner, however. Often, a thief will approach someone who was not involved in the theft and will offer money or some other consideration to that person to sell the items to a pawn shop on their behalf. If someone approaches you to do this type of deal, the goods they are selling are likely stolen, and YOU will end up as the one charged with dealing in stolen property.Speak With a Skilled Defense Lawyer Today
If you are in need of a dedicated St. Petersburg criminal defense attorney, you should call us today at Hanlon Law. We have the experience and know-how to secure the best results for your case. Call us for a consultation at 727.289.0222.