Dealing in stolen property in Florida is the trafficking in property that is known or reasonably should have been known to be stolen. Often arrests for dealing in stolen property are coupled with arrests for burglary or theft. Frequently, the "trafficking" or dealing in the property is done at a pawn shop. That is one reason why pawn shops must keep property for 30 days before it can resell it.
Dealing in stolen property by use of the Internet, be it eBay or craigslist, is a growing issue in Florida. Florida's Legislature has amended Florida's dealing in stolen property statute many times recently to combat these crimes. Items that used to be sold on the streets or to a pawn shop can now be sold nationwide -- for cash and, often, at a better price.
Despite the new laws, the proof of "knowledge" in a case like this is always problematic. As we like to say, an arrest is not the same as a conviction. It can be difficult to prove that a person was aware that the property he or she sold was stolen, and this is often where a prosecution for dealing in stolen property breaks down. If the property was not sold immediately after a theft or if a defendant paid good money for the property or was paid with the property for a debt that was owed, it is hard for the State to prove knowledge of the theft.
Illustrative Case: We represented a 30-year-old boat captain with no prior record. He pawned a surf board that was given to him by a person who owed him money. As it turned out, the surf board had been stolen. Without talking to or confronting our client, Jacksonville Sheriff's Officers arrested him on a warrant and charged the client with dealing in stolen property. We were able to prove that the client did not have any knowledge of the theft and gave the exact details of who, when, how, and why the client got the property. The charges were dropped, the client got to keep his professional licenses as a boat captain and did not miss any time from work!
If you need help with an arrest from dealing in stolen property, please contact our criminal defense team immediately. We assist clients from Jacksonville, Orange Park, St. Augustine, Ponte Vedra Beach, Yulee or Jacksonville Beach, as well as other locations in Florida. Call our experienced attorneys at Arnold & Sichta today.