In Florida, it is against the law for anyone to accept property that they know, or reasonably should have known, was stolen. However, what happens when you have no idea that the item was stolen?
Receipt of Stolen Property
You can be charged with receiving stolen property if you knowingly purchase, obtain, receive or possess an item that you should reasonably know is stolen and you do not intend to return it to the owner. If you are aware that it was stolen, such as if a friend gives you a bicycle and tells you he stole it from someone else, you can be charged with receiving stolen property. By the same token, if you purchase a flat screen television out of the back of a van for $20, you may also be charged with receiving stolen property because a reasonable person should know that a flat screen television sold for a price that low is more than likely stolen.
Florida Statute Title XLVI 812.022
Florida Statute Title XLVI 812.022 outlines several scenarios where you could be charged with receiving stolen property. You can be charged with receiving stolen property if you present false identification when you lease merchandise, or if you fail to return the leased property within 72 hours of the termination of the lease. Purchasing an item at far below the fair market value or purchasing an item from a business during hours when that business is closed can also lead to a charge of receipt of stolen property.
If you purchase or are given an item that you suspect is stolen, you should immediately contact the police. If the item has been stolen, the police will have a record of a serial number or other identification that will allow them to return the item to its rightful owner. If you know the person who gave or sold the item to you, the police will require you to tell them who it was.
Contact a Defense Attorney at Khonsari Law Group
If you were given or purchased something that later turned out to be stolen and you were charged with possession or receipt of stolen property, contact Khonsari Law by phone or online today to learn what rights you may have.