Dealing in Stolen Property


SHORSTEIN, LASNETSKI, & GIHON
helps people defend against Dealing in Stolen Property allegations.

Dealing in Stolen Property can mean many different things, but the most common fact scenario is where property is pawned at a pawn shop, law enforcement locates the property and arrests the person who pawned the property.  There are many potential defenses to Dealing in Stolen Property.  Give the experienced Jacksonville criminal defense lawyers of SLG Law a call so we can discuss your case.

What is Dealing in Stolen Property?

Dealing in Stolen Property is defined in Florida Statute Section 812.019.  To prove that you are guilty of Dealing in Stolen Property, the State must prove:

Fencing
1.   You trafficked in or endeavored to traffic in the property, and

2.   You knew or should have known that the property was stolen;

or

Organizing

1.   You initiated, organized, planned, financed, directed, managed, or supervised the theft of the property, and

2. You trafficked in the property. 

"Traffic" means to sell, transfer, distribute, dispense, or otherwise dispose of property, and to buy, receive, possess, obtain control of or use property with the intent to sell, transfer, distribute, dispense or otherwise dispose of that property.

Inference when property was recently stolen
The jurors will be told that they can infer that you knew or should have known that the property was stolen if the property had been stolen in a short period of time before you were in possession of it.  This if often the case when a house is burglarized and the victim can tell law enforcement roughly when the burglary happened and then the property is pawned within a short period of time after the burglary.  The jury would be able to infer that you knew or should of known that the property was stolen because of small amount of time between burglary and pawning.  However, you can offer a reasonable explanation to overcome this inference. 

What are the potential consequences of a Dealing in Stolen Property conviction?

Dealing in Stolen Property is a Second Degree Felony, punishable by up to 15 years in prison.  In most cases, you must be adjudicated guilty, and therefore would be a convicted felon, unable to possess a firearm or ammunition, to vote, to get your record sealed or expunged and you would incur other collateral consequences.

What are the possible defenses to Dealing in Stolen Property?

The most common defense in a Dealing in Stolen Property case is that you did not know the property was stolen.  Because people sell things to each other all the time and often there is no documentation, the State may not have evidence of how you came into possession of the property.  They may use the inference that you were in possession of recently stolen property.  However, there may be a reasonable explanation.  The burden of proof is on the State to prove that you knew or should have known the property was stolen.  Another common defenses are that the property or statements you made were obtained in violation of the Constitution and should be suppressed.  Every case is different and every defense is different. Give us a call to discuss your case.

Can I be convicted of Theft or Burglary and Dealing in Stolen Property?

Yes.  You can be convicted of the underlying theft or burglary and of the subsequent dealing in stolen property.  You can also be charged with burglary and dealing in Stolen Property and found not guilty on one count and guilty on the other.  They are distinct crimes and the proof required for each of them is different.

What about False Verification of Ownership?

False Verification is yet another separate and distinct crime from dealing in stolen property, but it is often charged along with dealing in stolen property.  It is defined in Florida Statute Section 539.001(8)(b)(8).

False Verification is a third degree felony, punishable by up to 5 years in prison if the money received is less than $300.  It is a Second Degree Felony punishable by up to 15 years if the money received is $300 or more. 

To prove the crime of False Verification of Ownership, the State must prove:
  • You sold or pledged property to a pawnbroker, and
  • At the time, you knowingly gave false verification of ownership of the property or false or altered identification to the pawnbroker, and
  • You received money from the pawnbroker for the property sold or pledged. 

Like Dealing in Stolen Property, the State must prove that you knowingly gave false information.  So, if the state can't prove that you knew or should have known the property was stolen, they will have a difficult time proving that you knowingly gave false verification of ownership, as ownership can be transferred without documentation and on a temporary basis. 


If you or a loved one has been arrested for or accused of
Dealing in Stolen Property,

Call Shorstein, Lasnetski & Gihon Now!
Jacksonville Criminal Defense Attorneys

904-642-3332 (Jacksonville)

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