Dealing in Stolen Property
Dealing in stolen property is a crime that is explained in Florida Statute 812.019. If you are charged with Dealing in stolen property, you find yourself charged with a plethora of other charges, including theft and burglary. Navigating a situation such as this can seem overwhelming, but understanding the law and the accusations that you are faced with serves an enormous benefit to you. In DeLand, we find most of our Dealing in Stolen Property cases derive out of our local pawn shops and scrap metal receptacles. When a property is reported stolen, the first place the officers begin to search for those items are in those shops/
First, it is important to distinguish between the two types of Dealing in stolen property: fencing and organizing.
“Fencing” simply means trafficking the stolen property, where trafficking can be either buying or selling. Fencing also applies if you merely intend to traffic in the stolen property, regardless of whether or not the crime is actually committed. Under the law, the State must prove beyond every reasonable doubt, that you trafficked or endeavored to traffic a property, and that you knew or should have known that the property was stolen. Notice that the law does not require for you to conclusively know that the property was stolen, and it does not require you to be the thief. Instead, the law uses what are called “inferences”, or assumptions about your knowledge based on the circumstances.
The same applies for organizing. Organizing dealing in stolen property requires that State to prove, again, beyond all reasonable doubt, that you initiated, organized, planned, financed, managed, or supervised the theft of a property, and that you trafficked the property. Again, the law uses inferences to determine your level of knowledge about the criminal activity. These inferences include:
- Possession of recently stolen property,
- Proof of purchase or sale of property that is substantially below the fair market value,
- If you are a dealer in property (such as a pawn shop owner), operating the purchase or sale of property outside of normal business practices, or
- If you are a dealer in property, the name or phone number of a person on the property other than the individual selling the property
All of the above can be used to infer that you knew or should have known that the property was stolen. But there is one common thread between all of the inferences: they are all taken as true unless sufficiently explained.
This is where hiring an aggressive, experienced defense attorney is exceptionally important. Attorney Matt Thompson has experience negotiating with the State, and can help you explain the circumstances of your particular scenario. Having worked for 10 years at the State Attorney’s Office, Matt Thompson knows the law, and he knows how to think like a prosecutor in order to negotiate your position. The penalties for Dealing in stolen property are high: if convicted in fencing, you stand to be convicted of a second degree felony, with a possibility of 15 years of imprisonment, 15 years of probation, and a fine of $10,000. If convicted of organizing, you could face 30 years of imprisonment, 30 years of probation, and a fine of $10,000. With all of this at stake, don’t hesitate to call Thompson Law, P.A. for your free case evaluation at (386) 463-4529, or call toll-free at (877) 934-4529.