Officers were called to the scene after an alleged car theft victim found his car 5 months later parked at a local grocery store. The license plate was registered to the Defendant, an employee of the grocery store. It looked as if modifications had been made to the vehicle, but officers found two VIN numbers inside. One of the VIN numbers matched that of the victim’s stolen vehicle. Officers arrested and charged the Defendant with felony Dealing in Stolen Property and Altered or Removed VIN Number.
Dealing in Stolen Property
Under Florida law, dealing with stolen property occurs when a defendant transfers, sells, distributes, or disposes of stolen property knowing that the property has been stolen. Stolen property is anything of value including tangible or intangible personal property that has been criminally taken. This is a second-degree felony and could also be referred to as fencing. Penalties for this include up to 15 years in prison, 15 years of probation, and a fine of $10,000.
Altered or Removed VIN Number
A VIN Number on a vehicle is a vehicle identification number. This is not only found on the car, but also on the title of the car. Any individual who knowingly tampers with the VIN number by removing it or altering it in any way is committing a third-degree felony. It could also be referred to as VIN Fraud. This is a serious crime that could result in five years in the Florida Department of Corrections, five years probation time, and a fine of $5,000. It will also go on your permanent record, which could haunt you for the rest of your life. Potential employers do not have to hire an individual that has a felony on their record. Those that are applying for financial aid could be refused, and colleges have the right to turn applications down due to felonies. Landlords can also refuse to rent to you based on a felony conviction.
Contacting Musca Law
If you have been convicted of a felony such as Dealing in Stolen Property, it is imperative that you seek legal services. At Musca Law, we have successfully handled many felony cases. Our lawyers will be able to advise you what your next step should be. We have a team of attorneys that will put together a strong defense for your case. We will negotiate for your rights, going head to head with the prosecution. In many of our cases, we have either had charges dropped completely or lowered significantly. Call us today for a free initial consultation. We serve all of Florida and have several offices located throughout the state. We answer our phones 24 hours per day, 7 days a week.
RESULT: The defense entered into heated negotiations with the State. The Attorney proved the Client’s innocence on whether he knew or should have known that his car possessed stolen parts. The Court ordered NO FORMAL FINDING OF GUILT against our Client.