The Internet is the perfect place to buy and sell stuff because of its global reach and accessibility. It’s not just the major retailers who sell goods online; even people who make their own products or want to sell off their possessions are welcome to post their stuff for sale.
But while people are free to buy and sell whatever they can think of on the Web, there are limitations. For instance, thieves who think they can use the Web to quickly get rid of recently stolen items should know that Florida prohibits the sale of pilfered merchandise or property online. This offense carries surprisingly heavy penalties for anyone convicted.
Dealing in stolen property over the Web
Per state rules, a person who uses the Internet to sell or offer for sale any good or property that they know – or have reasonable cause to believe – was stolen off from someone commits the offense of dealing in stolen property by use of the Internet.
This means that even if the seller wasn’t the one who stole the goods they’re selling, but they know it was purloined from somewhere else, then they can face criminal charges.
The penalties for selling stolen property on the Internet
The offense of dealing in stolen property over the Web is a misdemeanor of the second degree if the value of the property the offender was trying to sell or sold is less than $300. On conviction, it leads to up to 60 days of jail time and $500 in fines.
However, if the property’s value was worth $300 or more, the offense becomes a felony of the third degree. A conviction for this offense carries up to five years of prison and $5,000 in fines.
It’s a crime to attempt to sell stolen goods online. If you face this charge, you might have to prove that you had no idea the items in question were from a theft crime you weren’t involved in. Consider consulting with a legal professional to understand your defense options.