Dealing In Stolen Property
Here at Hanlon Law, we often represent people who are facing their first and hopefully, only criminal charges. Most people who are charged with criminal offenses, especially for the first time, are not professional criminals or lawyers with any knowledge of criminal statutes. This results in people making decisions based on what they do have experience with, which is typically popular media. Movies and television depict crimes because it is a popular subject that interests viewers. Unfortunately, most tv and film writers don’t have a lot of criminal experience either, resulting in pretty unrealistic depictions of crime.
This can often result in reality reflecting fiction. When people think of crime, it is typically divided into two categories, property crime offenses and crimes of passion. Property crime like theft, robbery and burglary come to mind. Stolen property raises another question: “what do we do with the ill gotten gains?” The answer for most people charged with property crimes is: sell the goods for a profit. The problem with this is that most people, even criminals, don’t have access to a reliable black market and are faced with limited avenues to sell stolen property. Often, mistakes by people in these situations result in criminal charges, if you find yourself in such a situation do not hesitate to contact a skilled Sarasota criminal defense lawyer to advise you.
Dealing in stolen property is one of the offenses that often occurs because people base their criminal knowledge on movies and tv. People who come into possession of stolen property often have no use for it other than to sell it. And most people lack access to a source to sell or offload stolen property without a trace. Those same people often turn to the pawn shop, and that is often the easiest way to get charged with the crime.Elements of Dealing in Stolen Property
Florida Statute 812.019 defines dealing in stolen property as the trafficking in property that the defendant knows or should have known was stolen. Additionally, a person can be charged with dealing in stolen property if he or she initiates, organizes, plans, finances, directs, manages or supervises the theft of property and traffics in such stolen property. In layman’s terms, if you are in possession of property that you know is stolen or a reasonable person should know is stolen and you sell that property to someone else, you are guilty of dealing in stolen property.
Dealing in stolen property is a serious criminal offense and can result in significant prison sentences or probationary sentences. If you are convicted of dealing in stolen property alone, you would be facing a second degree felony punishable by up to fifteen years in prison. If you are convicted of dealing in stolen property, and the state can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you were also involved in the theft of that property, you could be convicted of a first degree felony punishable by up to thirty years in prison. The serious penalties can potentially be avoided if you retain a skilled Sarasota criminal defense lawyer to develop a strategy on your behalf.
Dealing in stolen property cases are often initiated when those looking to offload stolen goods sell them to a pawn shop. Pawn shops, while they can sometimes seem seedy, are actually heavily regulated and have measures in place to prevent the sale of stolen goods at their establishment. Whenever a sale or pawn is made, the pawn shop takes your ID along with a fingerprint for identification purposes. The shop will then report to the police the items that have been sold. If the police database is cross checked with the inventory of the shop, it could trigger an investigation. The fingerprint and ID requirements will make it easy for the police to track you down.Speak to Our Lawyers Today
The attorneys at Hanlon Law have years of experience defending clients in the Sarasota area. If you are in need of assistance, don’t hesitate to call us at 941.462.1789.