Dealing in Stolen Property
Pinellas / St. Petersburg / Clearwater Criminal Defense Attorneys
Our office commonly sees the crime of Dealing in Stolen Property charged by law enforcement in situations where our client may have sold items to a pawn shop that were later determined to have been stolen.
The offense of Dealing in Stolen Property may also be charged when a person attempts to buy or sell stolen items at a flea market, on-line auction, or through Internet classified ads. Dealing in Stolen Property is defined by Florida law as, “Any person who traffics in, or endeavors to traffic in, property that he knows, or should know was stolen is guilty of a felony of the second degree.” Florida Statute 812.019. Because Dealing in Stolen Property charges are classified as 2nd degree felonies, they carry additional consequences, including a general prohibition against the Judge imposing a withholding of adjudication. Florida Statute 775.08435. For this reason, it is imperative that persons charged with Dealing in Stolen Property offenses consult with experienced legal counsel. We can attempt to avoid your becoming a convicted felon by convincing the judge that a withhold of adjudication is appropriate under one of the exceptions provided for under Florida Law. Learn more about avoiding a felony conviction by receiving a withhold of adjudication.
How We Can Help
In cases involving Dealing in Stolen Property charges, we may be successful in avoiding a felony conviction through the following courses of action:
Attempting to Get the Charged Dropped – We may be able to intervene on your behalf in an effort to convince the State Prosecutor to file a “no information” to the charge of “dealing in stolen property.” A “no information” formally withdraws the charge for which you were arrested and terminates the prosecution. Such a remedy can sometimes be accomplished in these cases if we can satisfactorily explain to the prosecutor how you came into possession of the stolen property without knowledge that it was stolen. Florida law sets a standard that you either know or should have known that the goods were stolen. However, Florida appellate courts have refined this standard by saying that the circumstances of a given transaction must be sufficiently suspicious to put a person of ordinary intelligence and caution upon inquiry to make them stop and question if the items are stolen. As you can see, the element of “knowledge” can sometimes be problematic for a Pinellas County State Prosecutor. Our examination of the totality of circumstance leading up to the purchase of the questionable goods may include the following:
- Were the goods sold shortly after their theft?
- Was the purchase made with untraceable cash or by your check or credit card that is easily traceable to you?
- What was the amount you paid for the goods and how much does that amount differ from the true fair market value?
- At what location and time was the transaction completed? For example, a back alley looks far more incriminating than a retail establishment.
- Whether you knew the individual prior to the transaction and whether you can locate and identify this person?
Attempting to Get the Charge Reduced– Through early intervention on your behalf, we may be able to convince the State Attorney’s Office to file or amend the charge of “Dealing in Stolen Property” charge to a lesser offense of “Petit Theft” or “Grand Theft;” or
Seeking to Avoid a Conviction – Even if the State proceeds with a prosecution for “Dealing in Stolen Property,” we may be able to achieve a Withhold of Adjudication by providing the Court with one of the circumstances found in Florida Statue 921.0026 that affords the Judge the discretion to avoid imposing a formal conviction for “Dealing in Stolen Property” offenses.
We are Experienced Legal Counsel Who Can Explain Your Options
If you have been charged with Dealing in Stolen Property, Grand Theft or other Felony Theft offense in St. Petersburg, Clearwater, or any other area of Pinellas County, we are criminal defense lawyers who can help. Let’s discuss the individual facts of your case and decide on the most beneficial course of action. Call our office at (727) 578-0303. The Consultation is Free!
- How We Can Help With a Grand Theft Charge
- Felony Offenses
- Felony Worthless Check
- Outstanding Arrest Warrants
Common Examples of Dealing in Stolen Property: