Dealing in Stolen Property

Dealing in Stolen Property means any person who traffics in, (sells, fences) stolen property (hot property) while he or she knows or should have known that the property was stolen or acquired by criminal means is guilty of a 2nd degree Felony. Any person who is the manager, organizer or supervisor in dealing in stolen property is guilty of a 1st degree Felony.

As you can see the penalty for dealing with stolen property is usually worse than the actual stealing of property. The police may not always catch you stealing, but may charge you with possession/receipt of stolen property. For example pawning stolen goods or merchandise to a pawn shop could cause you to be charged with Dealing in Stolen Property.

Further under Florida Statute 812.022 it is presumed (unless satisfactorily explained) that one in possession of recently stolen property knew or should have known that the property was stolen. This Statute shifts the burden on to the defendant to prove his innocence.

Further, while under common law, it would be a defense under “Legal impossibility” theory that one cannot be charged with possession or dealing in stolen goods if the goods in fact were not stolen, but under Florida Statute 812.028 this is not a defense, since the Statute allows the police to act in sting operations to offer property as stolen when in fact it is not stolen.

Double Jeopardy Defense Issue in Dealing in Stolen Property

When defendant is charged with both theft and dealing in stolen property for a single incident, and the defendant does not raise the rule of Florida Statute 812.025 which allows the defendant to be charged with both crimes but convicted of only one, the proper resolution is for the court is to dismiss the lesser charge (Theft).

Defense Of Intent Issue in Dealing in Stolen Property

Canady v. State, 73 So. 3rd 785, (4th DCA 2011) that case dealt with an undercover cop selling an Xbox for crack and little cash. The 4th DCA granted that defendant an acquittal since that were was no proof that the defendant subsequently sold the item or intended to do so. Merely being in possession of a stolen item for one’s own personal use is not the crime of Dealing in Stolen Property.

Call Attorney Steven M. Logan at (561) 791-1882 in Palm Beach if you have been charged with Dealing in Stolen Property. Serving West Palm Beach, Ft. Lauderdale, Ft. Pierce, Stuart and Glades County.

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