Dealing in stolen property is recognized as being a serious offense in the State of Florida, but sometimes the cases can be complicated. For example, there are some circumstances where an individual might be unaware that they were dealing in stolen property.
It is a criminal offense for any individual to deal in property that they know or should have known was stolen in Florida. It is classed as a second-degree felony, and the penalties include spending up to fifteen years in prison, as stated in Florida Statute 812.019.
If an individual is being accused of distributing, transferring, selling, or even disposing of stolen property, then the prosecutor is required to prove two aspects beyond doubt:
- The individual trafficked or tried to traffic the stolen property in question.
- The individual knew or should have known that the property was stolen.
If you are being charged with dealing in stolen property, then we highly recommend that you get in touch with a skilled lawyer as soon as possible. An accusation of stolen property can have a serious impact on your personal and professional life, which is why it is important to seek legal representation for your case from the beginning.
At The Law Place, we have over seventy-five years of collective experience and knowledge when it comes to battling cases from grand theft to dealing in stolen property and more. Our law firm is aware of the consequences that you might be facing, and we want to be the ones to help get you through. We value an honest attorney-client relationship and understand that the accusation of dealing in stolen property could be a misunderstanding or an honest mistake. We want to protect your good name in Port Charlotte.
Call The Law Place today, and a lawyer will be able to offer you a free piece of advice on the smartest move to make in your current situation. Don’t hesitate to reach out and contact us now on (941) 444-4444for a free consultation, and we will fight your dealing in stolen property charges together in Port Charlotte.
Key Terms and the Usual Cause of Dealing in Stolen Property Charges in Port Charlotte, FL.
The term ‘property’ can be used to define anything of value, which includes real property, anything that it grows on, is affixed to, or is found on the land, and also tangible or intangible personal property. Tangible or intangible property includes claims, interests, rights, services, or privileges that are associated with a particular piece of property in the State of Florida.
The term ‘trafficking’ refers to an individual who sold or disposed of the property, or bought, sold, received, possessed, or obtained control and used the property with the intention of selling, distributing, dispensing, transferring, or disposing of the property in question.
A charge of dealing in stolen property is usually aimed at individuals who pawn items for money. Wealthy individuals can go to the bank if they need money, which is why charges of this nature tend to be leveled at poor individuals instead.
Florida law states that the value of the stolen property is irrelevant to the equation. For example, pawning a stolen ring that is worth $15 is an equivalent crime to pawning a stolen ring that is worth $40,000. Either one of these crimes will be charged as a second-degree felony, and the penalties include spending up to fifteen years in prison and receiving a fine of up to $10,000.
A crime involving stolen property hinges on the individual’s explanation of why and how they came into possession of the stolen goods or items of value. A skilled lawyer from The Law Place will be able to help and prepare any individual who is being accused of dealing in stolen property. Our lawyers can build a strong defense to take into the courtroom.
Isn’t Proof of Knowledge the Items Were Stolen Required in Port Charlotte, FL?
It is required for the prosecutor on the case of dealing in stolen property to provide proof of knowledge that the items of value were, in fact, stolen. However, it is possible for the proof to be inferred to some degree.
The fact that the individual was in possession of recently stolen property indicates that they knew, or should have known, that the property was stolen. Furthermore, if the individual made a purchase or sale of the stolen property at a price that happened to be way below fair market value, this will infer that they knew or should have been known that the property was stolen. However, these angles can be argued if there is a reasonable explanation to prove otherwise.
But, if the ignition mechanism of a stolen motor vehicle has been bypassed without explanation of the individual, then it is likely they knew or should have been aware that the vehicle was stolen, which is much more difficult to argue against.
Penalties Associated With Dealing in Stolen Property in Port Charlotte, FL.
A sentencing guideline in the form of a scoresheet preparation manual was released by the Florida Department of Corrections. This means that when an individual is held under arrest for a felony crime, the crime will be assigned at a certain level as a primary offense in the State of Florida. Once this has been done, the level is further assigned to a specific number of points. If an individual scores above 44 points, then they will be sentenced to spend a certain amount of time in a Florida state prison unless the judge decides to adjust or even possibly reduce the amount of time-based on a series of mitigating factors.
Dealing in stolen property is recognized as a level 5 offense and a second-degree felony charge by the State of Florida, with a level 10 recognized as being the most serious type of case. According to the sentencing guidelines of the scoresheet preparation manual, a level 5 offense is assigned 28 points. However, an additional offense, which has been charged at the same time, will add up to 5.6 points per offense in the context of a level 5 offense. It is also worth noting that a prior criminal record can potentially add extra points to that total. Furthermore, a legal status violation will add an additional 4 points in the case of escaping, fleeing, failing to appear, incarceration, per trial intervention or diversion program, and more.
In the case of a serious prior felony conviction, thirty points can potentially be added to the total, as well as further enhancements that can also add extra points. The standard formula is taking the total amount of points and subtracting 28, and multiplying by .75 to find the total amount of time to be spent in prison in months. For example, an individual facing a dealing in stolen property conviction that also had three additional offenses, and having a prior criminal record: 28 + 5.6 + 5.6 + 5.6 + 3.6 + 30 = 78.4 – 28 = 50.4 x .75 = 37.8 months in prison in the State of Florida.
Potential Defenses to the Crime of Dealing in Stolen Property in Port Charlotte, FL.
Upon hiring a skilled lawyer from The Law Place, they will be able to fight your criminal charges using several different defenses. However, it is worth noting that the defenses that can be used will ultimately depend on the circumstances of your case. A lawyer can potentially use the following defenses to fight your charges:
- You were truly unaware and lacked knowledge that the item of value was stolen.
- You were pawning items for a friend and genuinely lacked knowledge that the items were stolen.
- The property or stolen goods were not ‘trafficked’ according to the definition.
- You believed or were under the impression that you had the right to sell or dispose of the item in question.
- The property was, in fact, not stolen.
- You truly believed that the property or items of value were handed to you, or they were abandoned.
- An issue of mistaken identity; it wasn’t you who is associated with this crime of dealing in stolen property.
- The accuser made false claims about having legitimate ownership of the property or items of value.
- A lack of evidence to support and back up the claim that the property or items of value were stolen.
- You have a reasonable explanation to refute these claims of dealing in stolen property and to defend your rights.
When you enlist the services of a knowledgeable lawyer from The Law Place, there is no need to be concerned when you are being accused of dealing in stolen property. If you are truly innocent, we will do our best to prove your innocence, and we will fight for your rights every step of the way.
Why You Should Never Attempt to Explain Your Way Out of Stolen Property Charges in Port Charlotte, FL.
If you have been arrested for dealing in stolen property, then the one thing that you should take very seriously is your right to remain silent. The only words you need to speak to the police officers are politely giving your name and address and then requesting a lawyer soon after. Police officers are always going to hope that you will relinquish your right to remain silent and that you will try to explain why and how you were not dealing in stolen property.
In the event that you attempt to explain your way out, without a skilled lawyer on your side, any piece of information that you share will likely be taken out of context and used against you. The good news is that you can hire the services of a professional lawyer from The Law Place to defend your rights. Our law firm values an attorney-client relationship that is based on honesty, and anything that you say to us will be held in confidence. When you explain the situation to us and how you came into possession of the stolen items, a skilled lawyer will determine if your reason is satisfactory, and then they will use the information to possibly get your charges dismissed.
Contact The Law Place in Port Charlotte
If you are being accused of dealing in stolen property, then it is of utmost importance that you enlist the services of a reputable law firm like The Law Place to battle your case in the State of Florida. A conviction of stolen property can be extremely difficult to work through, as information can be misinterpreted and completely taken out of context. Therefore, you must seek legal representation as soon as possible.
The Law Place has over seventy-five years of experience in helping clients in the State of Florida to battle their charges and achieve a reasonable outcome. Our law firm has managed a variety of cases, so your theft charges will be no problem. We have a team of skilled lawyers working to achieve the best results for every client who comes to us during their time of need.
At The Law Place, you are free to ask any questions that might come to mind without the fear of being judged or reprimanded. There is no need to be concerned, as everything we discuss is classed as confidential information.
It is understandable that you might be feeling worried or anxious about a charge of dealing in stolen property. However, if you hire a lawyer from our law firm, it will help to give you a much higher chance of achieving a positive outcome for your case of dealing in stolen property. In addition, hiring a lawyer in the early stages of your case will give us the opportunity to have a conversation with the prosecutor, and possibly amend the charges to a lesser offense, or even have the charges dropped altogether.
Don’t hesitate to reach out and call The Law Place today. During our phone conversation, we will discuss the details of your case, the best possible defense strategies, and how we can help you moving forward. Contact us now on (941) 444-4444for a free consultation, and we will fight your dealing in stolen property charges together in Port Charlotte.