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Dealing in Stolen Property Your Future is Too Important to Risk

Charges for Dealing in Stolen Property

Tampa Theft Crime Attorney

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.

Proving the Charges

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:

  • Proof that the purchase or sale of the stolen property was by a dealer in property outside of the regular course of business or without the normal indications of ownership other than sheer possession of the property.
  • Proof that a person was in possession of a stolen motor vehicle and the vehicle's ignition device has been bypassed or the steering wheel locking device has been damaged or bypassed.
  • Proof that a dealer who regularly deals in used property possesses property which show the name and contact information of a person other than the seller of property and are clearly exposed.
  • Proof of purchase or sale of the stolen property is at a price that is significantly below fair market value.
  • Proof that false identification was used to lease property and that property was not returned within 72 hours of terminating the leasing contract.

Protect Yourself from Criminal Penalties

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 lawyer at Taracks & Associates can help. Contact us today to discuss your case.

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