Dealing in Stolen Property
The experienced Palm Beach and Broward County criminal defense attorneys at Leifert & Leifert represent individuals accused of a wide range of crimes, including the offense of dealing in stolen property, outlined by s. 820.019 of the Florida State Statutes, which is listed below:
812.019 Dealing in stolen property.--
(1) Any person who traffics in, or endeavors to traffic in, property that he or she knows or should know was stolen shall be guilty of a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in ss. 775.082, 775.083, and 775.084.
(2) Any person who initiates, organizes, plans, finances, directs, manages, or supervises the theft of property and traffics in such stolen property shall be guilty of a felony of the first degree, punishable as provided in ss. 775.082, 775.083, and 775.084.
The two subsections of s. 812.019 differentiate, in terms of penalty, the offenses of simply dealing in stolen property and organizing the theft to acquire the stolen property to be dealt. Before breaking down the different penalties for the different specific offenses, we shall address the definition of “traffic” as it relates to this s. 820.019. Our Palm Beach and Broward County criminal defense attorneys known that simply purchasing an item that you know or should know to be stolen does not constitute taking part in the trafficking of such goods. To traffic stolen goods means to be involved in the dealing of stolen goods—the purchase and re-selling of stolen goods. To be sure, purchasing goods you know or should know to be stolen can be deemed a crime, but that crime would fall under the umbrella of laws relating to petit theft or grand theft, not the offense of dealing in stolen goods.
Once it has been established that an individual has been trafficking stolen goods as defined in s. 812.019 above, he or she faces a second-degree felony, assuming that the individual’s involvement in the trafficking was limited to the dealing of the goods rather than the theft of the goods to be dealt. A second-degree felony conviction can yield, according to s. 775.082, a prison term not to exceed 15 years.
In addition to or in lieu of this sentence, statute permitting, the individual can receive a fine of no more than $10,000, according to s. 775.083. For repeat offenders of crimes yielding a second-degree felony conviction, according to s. 775.084, the harshness of the penalties increase dramatically. For example, for an individual deemed to be a habitual felony offender (with regard to second-degree felonies), such a person faces up to 30 years in prison.
If, however, it is proven that the individual in question was actually involved in the initiation, organization, planning, financing, directing, managing or supervising of the theft of the stolen goods, the individual faces a first-degree felony. A first-degree felony is punishable by up to 30 years in prison (or, statute permitting, up to life in prison), according to s. 775.082. In addition to or in lieu of this sentence, statute permitting, the individual can receive a fine of no more than $10,000, according to s. 775.083. For repeat offenders of crimes yielding a first-degree felony conviction, according to s. 775.084, the harshness for the penalties increases significantly. For instance, an individual found to be a habitual felony offender convicted of multiple first-degree felonies may be sentenced to life in prison.
If you’ve been arrested for or charged with dealing in stolen goods in Palm Beach, Broward or Miami-Dade County, you need a legal team such as the experienced criminal defense attorneys at Leifert & Leifert on your side. We know the local law and the local law enforcement officials and, as former prosecutors, we know how the local prosecutors organize their cases; thus, we can mount a legal defense geared at systematically defending you from all angles. For a free consultation, contact us at 1-888-5-DEFEND (1-888-533-3363).