If you or a loved one have been charged with dealing in stolen property you are probably left with more questions than answers. Dealing in Stolen Property is a more serious theft crime than Shoplifting or Grand Theft. Unlike other theft charges, Dealing in Stolen Property carries a real possibility of a prison sentence and a felony conviction on your record.
It is common for the police to try and contact a suspect if they are investigating a case where they suspect an individual is dealing in stolen goods. My advice is do not talk to the police without a Destin dealing in stolen property defense attorney present. If you receive a call from police wanting to talk to you, call me at (850) 460-7470 immediately.
What is Dealing in Stolen Property?
Dealing in Stolen Property is defined as a person who endeavors in or traffics in property that he or she knew or should have known to be stolen, Florida Statutes §812.019. To secure a conviction the State must prove that you were involved in trafficking in stolen property and that you knew the property was stolen. In many cases items are stolen and then sold using pawn shops or internet resale sites. The crime of Dealing in Stolen Property occurs at the time the “stolen” item is then resold to another (pawn shop or Craigslist).
Am I going to prison for Dealing in Stolen Property in Destin?
It is possible you will be looking at prison time if you have been charged with Dealing in Stolen Property. It is a second degree felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison. This charge can also be elevated to a first degree felony if it was due to a criminal scheme or organized crime. That raises the potential prison sentence up to 30 years.
Dealing in Stolen Property is a very serious felony with extreme consequences. However, an arrest is not a conviction. That is why it is so important that you make smart decisions about how to handle this. This is not a charge that should be left to the cheapest attorney you can find. Too often, potential defenses are left unexplored due to a lack of time and lack of expertise. It will be up to you to decide whether to rely on the State-funded public defender.
Defending a Dealing in Stolen Property Arrest in Destin
For starters, I have the time and resources to devote to your defense. I will review and analyze all of the information and evidence against you. I will trace the theft allegation and force the State to prove your involvement.
The most important question I explore is: Did you know or should have known the property was “stolen”? If the State cannot prove that you knew this crucial element, they must dismiss the case. Sounds simple but in fact this critical element can be the most difficult to uncover. The State will use every means necessary to try to prove that you should have known the property was stolen. The Court allows the State the advantage in proving this allegation.
Some of the defense strategies that I have successfully used involve:
- Can the State prove that you knew the property was stolen?
- Inspection of the evidence, to include the scene of the theft;
- Interviewing witnesses independently;
- Deposing the State witnesses;
- Forcing the State to prove the elements of their case by filing motions with the Court;
- Inspecting the “stolen items”; and
- Mitigating damages, where necessary;
If you have been charged with Dealing in Stolen Property in Destin, remember, do not speak to the police until you speak with an attorney. Then, give the Destin defense lawyers of Flaherty & Merrifield a call at (850) 460-7470 to talk about your options.