Trafficking Stolen Property

What is Trafficking Stolen Property?

According to RCW §9A.82.010RCW §9A.82.010, to "traffic" means to sell, transfer, distribute, dispense, or otherwise dispose of stolen property to another person. Trafficking also includes buying, receiving, possessing, or obtaining control of stolen property with intent to sell, transfer, distribute, dispense, or otherwise dispose of the property to another person. In Washington State, there are two types of trafficking stolen property charges: (1) trafficking stolen property in the first degree and (2) trafficking stolen property in the second degree.

Trafficking Stolen Property in the First Degree:

According to Washington State statute RCW §9A.82.050, a person has committed the offense of trafficking stolen property in the first degree if he:

  1. Knowingly oversees the theft of property for the purpose of selling that property to others by organizing, initiating, planning, managing, supervising, directing or financing such activities; or
  2. Knowingly engages in trafficking of stolen property

The term "knowingly" means that the actor must be aware of the fact that his conduct constitutes trafficking of stolen property.

Penalties for Trafficking Stolen Property in the First Degree in Washington:

Trafficking stolen property in the first degree is a class B felony, which RCW §9A.20.021 defines as punishable by a maximum sentence of ten years in prison, a maximum fine of $20,000, or both.

Trafficking Stolen Property in the Second Degree:

According to Washington State statute RCW §9A.82.055, a person has committed the offense of trafficking stolen property in the second degree if he recklessly engages in trafficking of stolen property.

The term "recklessly" means that the actor must be aware of, and consciously disregard, a substantial and unjustifiable risk that his conduct constitutes trafficking of stolen property.

Penalties for Trafficking Stolen Property in the Second Degree in Washington:

Trafficking stolen property in the second degree is a class C felony, which RCW §9A.20.021 defines as punishable by a maximum sentence of five years in prison, a maximum fine of $10,000, or both.

Defending a Trafficking Stolen Property Charge:

One of the main elements of a trafficking stolen property offense is the intent. For a first degree offense, the person must knowingly engage in trafficking. If you are charged with trafficking stolen property in the first degree, a possible defense strategy might include proof that you did not know that the property was stolen, or that you possessed stolen property but did not intend to distribute it, etc. For a second degree offense, the person must recklessly engage in trafficking. You might be found guilty of trafficking stolen property in the second degree even if you do not know that the property was stolen, or even if you did not intend to distribute the stolen property. The help of a skilled defense lawyer is crucial to your defense strategy.