It is important to note that you cannot be found guilty of dealing in stolen property if you purchased merchandise you knew or should have known was stolen if the intent to sell the goods is lacking. However, simply purchasing property you know to be stolen may leave you facing petit or grand theft charges.
Regardless of whether you pawned or sold a piece of jewelry that was stolen and worth $10, or sold stolen goods valued at $100,000, the punishment is the same. The value of the property you are accused of stealing for resale makes no difference. Additionally, stolen property that is not sold but used personally does not constitute dealing in stolen property.Defenses to Dealing in Stolen Property in Florida
As with all crimes, there are a number of defense strategies that may be effective depending on the facts of a defendant's case. In the case of dealing in stolen property, it may be sufficient to offer a satisfactory explanation, for example how it came about that you possessed property/merchandise that was stolen without realizing that it was stolen.
Ultimately, understanding what elements the prosecutor must prove in order to secure a conviction is the first step in providing a solid defense. With dealing in stolen property, according to Florida Statute §812.019, the prosecutor must prove, beyond a reasonable doubt:
That the defendant trafficked or attempted to traffic in property the defendant knew or should have known was stolen. Trafficking in this context means distributing, selling, transferring, or disposing of property. Trafficking also pertains to possessing, receiving, buying, or otherwise gaining control of property with the intent to distribute, sell, or transfer under Florida Statute §812.012.
Ultimately, an Orlando criminal defense lawyer with our firm will explore weaknesses in the prosecutor's case and investigate thoroughly to determine the best legal option in your situation.Criminal Penalties for Dealing in Stolen Property in Orlando & Central Florida
As mentioned earlier, the penalties for a conviction on charges of dealing in stolen property are harsh. If found guilty, you may face any combination of the following:
Your freedom is at stake; we understand that no one wants to face years behind bars.Contact Adams & Luka Today
Most people who sell stolen property have no idea of the serious consequences they may face if caught. Perhaps you took a $300 ring from a friend or family member, and pawned it for $100 to get through a rough time. Fifteen years seems very harsh punishment for something so seemingly minor. Regardless of whether you were wrongly accused, we can help. Contact us immediately for a free consultation at (407) 872-0307 or (352) 787-2101.