Miami Dealing in Stolen Property Attorney
Whether you or a loved one has been arrested or is under investigation for dealing in stolen property, it is critical to consult with an experienced Miami dealing in stolen property attorney as soon as possible to ensure that your rights are protected. You need the counsel of an experienced theft crimes lawyer to guide you through the process and maximize your chances of resolving your case with a favorable outcome.
Trafficking in Stolen Property Charges in Miami
An individual who knowingly deals in property stolen by another person is subject to prosecution under Florida Statute 812.019. Under this Florida stolen property law, “a ‘fence’ is someone who resells the stolen property to a third party after buying it from a thief.” Under Florida law, both the person who commits the theft offense, i.e., the thief, and the “fence” are punished. It is important to note that a person can face both a theft charge and a stolen property charge based upon the same property but cannot be convicted of both property crimes.
The Florida Anti-Fencing Act creates the criminal charge of dealing in stolen property. Trafficking in stolen property, which is defined as dealing in or attempting to deal in stolen property, is one of two types of offenses covered by this law. The State Attorney has to prove that the defendant (1) trafficked in or attempted to traffic in stolen goods and (2) knew or should have known that the goods were stolen. A second-degree felony, trafficking requires the defendant to be in direct contact with the stolen goods. The second type of crime is organizing a fencing operation which is a first-degree felony. To convict a person of this stolen property charge, the State must prove that the defendant (1) initiated, organized, planned, funded, directed, managed, or supervised the theft of property and (2) then trafficked in it. The State doesn’t need to prove that the defendant had any direct contact with the property.
Stolen property refers to any property taken illegally. The stolen property does not only include stolen property offered for sale to the defendant; it can also include property offered for sale that was not stolen. This typically occurs when law enforcement officers are posing as thieves and are conducting a sting operation to catch fences—people who purchase the stolen property. In cases where the property is the fruit of a theft crime, the State must also identify the stolen property and prove that the property in the defendant’s possession is the same as the stolen property. The identity of stolen property can be established through circumstantial evidence.
Trafficking in Stolen Property Penalties
If you are convicted of Trafficking in Stolen Property or Attempting to Traffic in Stolen Property, you can face a maximum state prison sentence of up to 15 years in state prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
If you are convicted of Organizing a Fencing Operation, the maximum punishment is up to 30 years in state prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
You should immediately contact an experienced criminal defense attorney if you have been charged with dealing in stolen property or are currently under investigation. To avoid facing a conviction and serious punishment, you will need an experienced Miami attorney dealing in stolen property crimes to defend you.
Defenses to Trafficking in Stolen Property in Miami
Most defenses to trafficking in stolen property charges relate to your lack of intent to commit the crime. There are two different aspects of a defendant’s intent to traffic in stolen property. The first requirement is that you should have known that it had been stolen. Second is that you intended to transfer the property to another person.
Possession by itself does not prove guilty knowledge. Proof of possession has to be accompanied by evidence of unusual acquisition, attempts of concealment, contradictory statements, the fact that the goods were being sold for less than their value, possession of other stolen property, and other circumstances tending to show guilty knowledge. An experienced stolen property lawyer can analyze your case to find your best defense.
Contact an Experienced Miami Dealing in Stolen Property Attorney
Our law firm has represented many clients charged with dealing in stolen goods over the years. There is a good chance that we have handled cases similar to yours and have represented clients with similar needs and concerns.