Possession of Stolen Property
Thieves often make money by dealing in stolen property at pawn shops. However, it is illegal in Florida to possess property or anything else of value if you knew or should have known that it was stolen. This is a separate charge from theft, and it can be either grand or petit, depending on the value of the property. Prosecutors take stolen property charges seriously, so you should make sure to find a capable stolen property attorney in the West Palm Beach Area if you are charged with this crime.Penalties for a Stolen Property Charge
To obtain a conviction, the prosecutor will need to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you possessed or trafficked in stolen property. By law, trafficking in stolen property is a second-degree felony and a level 5 offense. If you are found guilty, you may be subject to 15 years in prison, 15 years of probation, and $10,000 in fines. Furthermore, if you are convicted of planning or organizing the theft of property or organizing the dealing of stolen property, you can be charged with dealing stolen property in the first degree. If you are convicted of this crime, you may face up to 30 years of incarceration.
What if this is not your first offense? Florida criminal laws impose progressively harsher penalties for each subsequent offense. The three-strike law has especially harsh consequences. If you are convicted of possessing stolen property three times or convicted of a felony within five years of a previous felony conviction, you can have your sentence doubled or receive a life sentence.
If you are accused of a stolen property charge, it is important to find a seasoned defense attorney. Among other defenses, I will try to prove you neither knew nor should have known that you were in possession of stolen property. I will also urge the prosecutor to file “no information.” This means I will try to explain to the prosecutor how you came into possession of stolen property without actually knowing it had been stolen. When “no information” is filed, the charges are withdrawn.
It is critical to consult with me as soon as possible so that I can start working with the state prosecutor to get the charges reduced or dropped. Going by yourself to court or trying to convince the state prosecutor that you did not know the property was stolen may lead to an admission or other evidence that will later be used against you.Discuss Your Case With an Experienced West Palm Beach Theft Attorney
I am a Florida criminal defense attorney with 30 years of experience. Five of these years were spent in the prosecutor's office. I will use my insight into how the prosecution thinks to defend you if you are accused of dealing or possessing stolen property in Palm Beach Gardens. You can consult with me at either of my two offices. One is located in Palm Beach Gardens, near I-95 and PGA Boulevard. The other is located in West Palm Beach. Schedule a free initial consultation by calling 561-533-1221 or contact me through my online form. Each office accepts credit cards.