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Dealing in Stolen Property

Florida Statute § 812.019(1) provides for the criminal offense of dealing in stolen property (often called “fencing the property”). Dealing in stolen property is most commonly charged as a second-degree felony, which is punishable by up to fifteen (15) years in Florida State Prison. The prosecutor must also prove beyond all reasonable doubt that the defendant knew or should have known that the property was stolen. Many of these cases involve taking stolen property to a pawn shop and may accompany a criminal charge of grand theft or burglary.

Under Florida Statute § 812.019(2) a person can be charged with a first-degree felony for financing, managing, directing, supervising, planning, initiating, or organizing the theft and trafficking of such stolen property.

Tallahassee Defense Lawyer for Dealing in Stolen Property

If you have been charged with the serious offense of dealing in stolen property in Tallahassee or Leon County, FL, or the surrounding areas, then contact the experienced criminal defense attorneys at Pumphrey Law to discuss the particular facts and circumstances of your case. Our experienced attorneys represent clients charged through North Florida with this serious offense, including Monticello in Jefferson County, Crawfordville in Wakulla County, Bristol in Liberty County, or Quincy in Gadsden County, Florida. Call (850) 681-7777 or send an online message for a free consultation.


Dealing in Stolen Property Inferences in Florida’s Jury Instructions

Florida law also provides for certain inferences that act much like shortcuts for the prosecutor.

  • Possession of Recently Stolen Property
    Florida Statute § 812.022(2) provides that “proof of possession of recently stolen property, unless satisfactorily explained, gives rise to an inference that the person in possession of the property knew or should have known that the property had been stolen.”
  • Unusual Sale
    Florida Statute § 812.022(4) provides that “proof of the purchase or sale of stolen property by a dealer in property, out of the regular course of business or without the usual indicia of ownership other than mere possession, unless satisfactorily explained, gives rise to an inference that the person buying or selling the property knew or should have known that it had been stolen.”
  • Purchase of Property Below Fair Market Value
    Florida Statute § 812.022(3) provides that “proof of the purchase or sale of stolen property at a price substantially below the fair market value, unless satisfactorily explained, gives rise to an inference that the person buying or selling the property knew or should have known that the property had been stolen.”
  • Ignition Bypass on Vehicle
    Florida Statute § 812.022(6) provides that “proof that a person was in possession of a stolen motor vehicle and that the ignition mechanism of the motor vehicle had been bypassed or the steering wheel locking mechanism had been broken or bypassed, unless satisfactorily explained, gives rise to an inference that the person in possession of the stolen motor vehicle knew or should have known that the motor vehicle had been stolen.”
  • Ignoring Owners Name
    Florida Statute § 812.022(5) provides that “Proof that a dealer who regularly deals in used property possesses stolen property, upon which a name and phone number of a person other than the one offering the property are conspicuously displayed, gives rise to an inference that the dealer possessing the property knew or should have known that the property was stolen.”

Definitions in Dealing in Stolen Property Prosecutions in Florida

Under Florida Statute Sections 812.012(6) and 812.028(3) defines the term “stolen property” to mean property that has been the subject of any criminally wrongful taking or if the property has not been stolen, that it was offered for sale to (defendant) as stolen property.

Under Florida Statute Section 812.012(7), the term “traffic” is defined to mean “to sell, transfer, distribute, dispense or otherwise dispose of property; and to buy, receive, possess, obtain control of or use property with the intent to sell, transfer, distribute, dispense or otherwise dispose of that property.”


Pumphrey Law | Dealing in Stolen Property Defense Lawyer in Tallahassee

An arrest for dealing with stolen property does not automatically lead to a conviction. Especially in regards to these types of Leon County theft charges, there may be many available defense strategies that can help seriously weaken the prosecution’s case against you, suppress evidence, or have the case dismissed altogether. However, it’s important to consult with an experienced defense attorney to determine what path you should take to combat the charges and safeguard your freedom. Contact the Pumphrey Law to learn more.