Failure to Redeliver Leased Property
You may have felt the effects of today’s difficult economy and the rising inequality in our society. Even though corporate profits are skyrocketing, it sometimes seems like wages for people in the middle and lower class keeps going down. Businesses see this too and have developed new business models to take advantage of the economy as it stands. One of the ways businesses have taken advantage of those trends in the economy is the proliferation of leased property. Whether it be Rent-A-Center or any number of rental car companies, you can be the proud “owner” of all sorts of brand new products for just a small monthly payment.
At least that’s the pitch that the rental and leasing companies put out there. The reality is that even though you might have a big new TV in your living room or a nice car parked in your driveway, the companies that lease those products are always looking to extract the most profit from these consumers. The state of Florida is complicit in these efforts and has instituted criminal charges for people who are late on their payments, or who fail to return products on time when their contracts are up. If you have been charged with such a crime such as failure to redeliver leased property, you should not hesitate to contact a dedicated St. Petersburg criminal defense lawyer.Elements of the Crime
Florida Statute 812.155(1) states that it is unlawful to obtain property by trick or false representation. If the prosecution presents evidence that you have obtained some property but made a material misrepresentation in order to acquire it, you can be charged with a second degree misdemeanor that carries a potential maximum 60 day jail sentence.
Under another portion of the statute, it is also a second degree misdemeanor to lease or hire property, such as a rental car, with the intent to defraud the owner of the property. If the value of the property obtained is greater than $3000, as it often is in the case of a motor vehicle, the charge can be increased to a third degree felony.
The most commonly charged section of the statute is for failure to redeliver leased property. Companies like Rent-A-Center, and car rental agencies like Budget and Hertz typically include a section in their contracts that permits them to institute criminal proceedings against their customers under certain circumstances. For example, if you rent a TV from a company like Rent-A-Center and you pay $20 a month for 5 months for your rental, but miss a few payments, the company, depending on the contractual agreement, can contact the police and file criminal charges against you. If this happens, you should not try to deal with the fallout on your own, but should retain a dedicated St. Petersburg criminal defense lawyer to help build your defense right away.
Lawyers who are experienced dealing with the criminal charge of failure to redeliver leased property will know what evidence the state needs to prove you guilty of the offense. A savvy lawyer will make sure to obtain copies of the contracts and operating guidelines used by the companies and can sometimes uncover evidence of your innocence. If your lawyer can show that the rental company failed to give you adequate notice that the rental was due back or if evidence is uncovered that the contractual agreement did not satisfy the strict rules of the law, it can have a huge benefit to your case.Contact the St. Petersburg Criminal Defense Lawyers at Hanlon Law Today
The lawyers at Hanlon Law have years of experience defending their clients from criminal charges. No matter how small the offense, Hanlon law considers your case with the utmost importance and treats their clients with the respect they deserve. Contact us today for a consultation at 727.897.5413.