GIVING FALSE INFORMATION TO A PAWNBROKER
Simply put, it is when a defendant knowingly and falsely verifies that they are the rightful owner of the property in order to receive money.
The Florida Pawnbroking Act requires pawnbrokers to obtain a statement from a person attempting to pawn an item that person owns the item, that the item is not stolen, that there are no liens or other encumbrances against the item, and that person has a right to enter into the pawn transaction.
This statement or verification is typically done on a standardized pawnbroker form, which requires the pledgor or seller (person seeking to pawn the item) to provide a thumbprint and signature.
In Florida, the penalties available for the crime of Giving False Information or Verification to a Pawnbroker will depend on the amount of money the defendant received in the course of the pawn transaction.
1. Transactions Under $300- where the amount received by the defendant is less than $300, the offense is a third-degree felony, with penalties of up to 5 years in prison or five years of probation, and a $5,000 fine.
2. Transactions of $300 or More- where the amount is $300 or more, the offense is classified as a second-degree felony, punishable by up to fifteen years in prison or fifteen years of probation, and a $10,000 fine.
Additional conditions may include:
Stay away order
Becoming a convicted felon
Different defenses are available depending on the facts of the case, however, not every case will have a defense. The defenses can be legal or factual in nature such as:
Defendant did not know the items were stolen;