Under Florida law, any person who traffics in, or attempts to traffic in, property that he or she knows or should have known was stolen can be found guilty of dealing in stolen property. Simply buying property you knew, or should have known, was stolen does not fall into the category of dealing in stolen property as long as there is no evidence you were intending to resell the property. However, depending on the circumstances you may still be convicted of theft charges if you knew or should have known that the property was stolen.
In Florida, the prosecution must establish that the defendant knew or should have known the said property was in fact stolen prior to reselling the property. However, there are a few scenarios which allow the prosecution to infer that you should have known the property was stolen. These inferences assist the prosecution in their case against you and only a satisfactory excuse as to why you still allowed the transaction to occur will lessen their effect.
A few examples of these inferences include:
If convicted of dealing in stolen property, you will be facing second degree felony charges which are punishable by up to 15 years in jail. If you organized, planned, financed, managed, initiated, directed or supervised the theft of property and traffics in such stolen property, you can be facing a felony of the first degree which is punishable by up to 30 years in prison.
It is essential to contact an experienced attorney to work on your case and get in touch with the State Attorney's Office to try and drop or reduce your charges. If you or someone you know is facing a burglary charge, or any other misdemeanor or felony charge, our Tampa criminal defense lawyers at Taracks & Associates can help. Contact us today to discuss your case.