Dealing in Stolen Property

Dealing in stolen property is a very serious offense. This typically is associated with a violation of the Pawn Brokers Act which is included on this page. See, section 812.019, Florida Statutes.

The offense levels for the listed crimes on this page are below:

LevelMax IncarcerationMax FineMax Probabtion
3rd Degree Felony5 years$5,00060 months
2nd Degree Felony15 years$10,000180 months

People Who this Typically Affects

The typical client that faces these charges has a substance abuse related illness. He or she is desperately trying to obtain cash to by drugs. Although this is not the only characteristic of this crime, it is not an excuse either. As with all crimes, the prosecution will proceed on the nature of the facts when trying to resolve these cases.

What is Dealing in Stolen Property

A person who sells, transfers, distributes, or disposes of property (or buys, receives, possesses, or uses property with the intent to sell, transfer, distribute, or dispense of such property) that he or she knows or should know was/is stolen is guilty of a felony of the second degree. Moreover, any person who initiates, organizes, or plans the theft and transfer of such stolen property is guilty of a felony of the first degree.

The main difference between this and theft is the intent to transfer the stolen property in return for value.

Selling Stolen Goods at Pawn Shop

The Pawn Broker Act (s. 539.001(8)(b)8., Fla. Stat.) not only establishes the credentials to be a pawn broker but also the penalties for transferring stolen property to a pawnbroker.

When anyone pawns anything at a pawnbroker, they must sign and place a thumbprint on a statement that the seller warrants that the item is not stolen, that it has no liens or encumbrances against it, and that the seller is the rightful owner of the item.

Any person who:

  • knowingly gives false verification of ownership or
  • gives a false or altered identification and
  • who receives money from a pawnbroker for goods sold or pledged,

commits a felony of the third degree if the amount received is less than $300 or a felony of the second degree if the value is $300 or more.

NOTE: By law, pawnbrokers must (and do) collect this information from everyone who pawns items at a pawn shop. Additionally, this information is transferred to law enforcement on a regular basis. When anyone reports a theft of property one of the first things law enforcement does is check these pawnbroker records.

Defenses to Dealing in Stolen Property

As with all crimes, there are a host of defenses which all depend on the facts. Lack of knowledge (a sincere belief that you owned the property) based on you being either duped or due to mental disability is an affirmative defense. Additional defenses may exist based on the facts.

For more information

Criminal Defense

Related Offenses

Theft, Shoplifting