Dealing in Stolen Property (DSP) has occurred when a person sells, transfers, distributes, or disposes of stolen property which the defendant knows or has reason to believe is stolen. This law was originally created to mitigate the occurrence of crime rings involving people who stole property for the purpose of selling it to others. DSP does not require that the defendant stole the property, only that the defendant sold, transferred, or disposed of property that had been stolen.
To be proven guilty of Dealing in Stolen Property, the prosecutor must prove two things beyond a reasonable doubt:
- The defendant trafficked in or attempted to traffic stolen property
- The defendant knew or should have had knowledge that the property was stolen
Barry, an unlicensed used car trader, inquired about a car on craigslist. While meeting with the seller, Barry asked some questions about the car’s history. The seller reported that the car had been in his possession for only a few weeks, and also that he did not have a title for the car. When Barry examined the car, he noticed that the VIN number was filed down. The seller offered Barry the car for next to nothing. Thinking that he could sell the car for parts, Barry accepted his offer. After having sold numerous parts from the vehicle, Barry was confronted by the police, claiming that he was in possession of stolen property. Due to the many signs of a shady deal, the court determined that Barry had sufficient reason to believe the car was in fact stolen. He was charged with Dealing in Stolen Property.
In the state of Florida, Dealing in Stolen Property is classified as a second-degree felony, and is punishable by up to 15 years imprisonment or probation, with a $10,000 fine. However, if the defendant was involved any way in the theft of the property prior to trafficking, the penalty may be increased to a first-degree felony, punishable by up to 30 years imprisonment.