False Verification to a Pawnbroker
Many people who choose to commit theft often find themselves at a loss about how to profit off of their criminal actions. Unfortunately, many of those people turn to pawn shops in hopes of making some quick cash from their ill-gotten goods. What most people do not realize is that pawn shops in the State of Florida are heavily regulated and constantly monitored for stolen goods. Selling stolen property to pawn shops is an extremely risky endeavor and more often than not results in criminal charges being brought against the seller. If you have been charged with making a false verification to a pawnbroker, you should consult with a dedicated Sarasota criminal defense lawyer right away.
Under Florida Statute Section 539.001, our State Legislature has laid out a comprehensive law regulating and governing the operations of pawnbrokers. Any time an item is sold or pawned at a pawn shop, the shop is required to enter that item and its identifying information into a statewide database. That database is connected to the police stolen property database and, as long as the item is identifiable, it will automatically be reported as a stolen item at the pawn shop and will be returned to its owner. When selling items at pawn shops, the seller is required to sign an affidavit attesting to his or her ownership of the items. Then the seller is required to provide a thumb print to the pawnbroker for later identification.
When a stolen item and a pawned item are matched in the pawnbroker and law enforcement databases, the police are able to run the fingerprint through their own national fingerprint database. And if the seller’s fingerprint is in the database from a prior arrest, then they will typically be able to bring charges against the seller for false verification to a pawnbroker. Many times, the seller of a stolen item will leave their real name as well, which makes it relatively easy for law enforcement to track them down and make an arrest. If you are ever contacted by law enforcement about selling stolen goods to a pawn shop, you should immediately contact a skilled Sarasota criminal lawyer to act on your behalf.
The penalties for providing a false verification to a pawnbroker can be even more severe than the crime of theft that procured the stolen goods. While a theft of goods less than $750 dollars is merely a misdemeanor offense, any offense of false verification to a pawnbroker is a felony. IF the value of the money received based on the false verification is under $300, then the offense is a third degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison. If the value obtained is more than $300, then the offense is a second degree felony punishable by a maximum of 15 years prison. For second degree felony charges, the prosecution will typically seek mandatory convictions. A felony conviction can cause lifelong hardships and is not something that can typically be removed from your criminal record.
While movies and popular media might make it seem like pawnbrokers are less than scrupulous businesses, the reality is that they are highly regulated by the government and take stolen property very seriously. One of the reasons that pawnbrokers offer so little for your valuables is that they have to take into account the losses they will incur when they are sold any stolen goods. Don’t ever sell any stolen goods at a pawnbroker, and if someone asks you to sell or pawn their own item, you should assume that it is stolen and politely refuse or risk being charged with a serious felony offense.Speak To Our Lawyers Today
The attorneys at Hanlon Law have vast experience defending clients on all manner of criminal offenses including false verification to a pawnbroker. If you are charged with any crime, call us for a consultation right away at 727-897-5413.