California Business & Professions Code Section 21628 BPC: Failure To Report By Pawnbroker

1. Definition and Elements of the Crimepawnbroker crime

Because of their exposure to potentially stolen goods, pawnbrokers and second hand store proprietors are required to adhere to strict reporting requirements. A pawnbroker’s failure to comply with these reporting requirements is a potential misdemeanor offense under California Business and Professions Code Section 21628 BPC.

In order to establish that a person is guilty under California Business and Professions Code Section 21628 BPC, a prosecutor is required to prove the following elements:

  1. The defendant was a secondhand dealer or coin dealer
  2. The defendant failed to report daily, or on the first working day after receipt or purchase of property, all tangible personal property which he or she has purchased, taken in trade, taken in pawn, accepted for sale on consignment, or accepted for auctioning, to the chief of police or to the sheriff in accordance with the law
  3. AND the defendant failed to use either forms approved or provided at actual cost by the Department of Justice.
2. Related Offenses

Other similar or related offenses include:

  1. Receiving Stolen Property – California Penal Code Section 496(a) PC
3. Examples

A man owns and operates a pawn shop. One day someone comes in with several Rolex watches. The seller is willing to take a low price for the watches as long as the pawn shop owner does not submit a report about the watches to local law enforcement. The shop owner agrees and purchases the watches. He does not file a report regarding the watches to the local police department. The pawn shop owner could be charged with failure to report by a pawnbroker in violation of California Business and Professions Code Section 21628 BPC. He could also potentially be charged with felony charges of receiving stolen property in violation of California Penal Code Section 496(a) PC.

In another example, a pawn shop owner purchases 10 different watches from a suspicious man who came into his store. The owner prepares a report, but does not list descriptions of the watches or serial numbers. This man could be criminally liable under California Business and Professions Code Section 21628 BPC because the statute requires all reports to be detailed.

4. Defenses to Failure to Report by a Pawnbroker

There may be instances where a pawn shop’s failure to report was the result of an inexperienced or ineffective employee. In these cases, the store’s owner may be able to argue that he or she did not have knowledge of the violation even though the rogue employee was properly trained and supervised.

5. How a Failure to Report Case is Defended

A pawnbroker or second hand shop may be investigated for failing to report as required by law and could ultimately be cited for a criminal offense. The early intervention of a knowledgeable and experienced criminal defense attorney can be integral in having criminal charges rejected.

If charged with a crime, the defendant (or his or her attorney) would have to appear in court before a judge for arraignment. These types of cases typically involve heavy volumes of evidence and the discovery process may be lengthy or protracted.

If the defense and prosecution are unable to reach a settlement, the case would proceed to trial before a judge or jury. After presentation of evidence and argument, a verdict of guilty or not guilty would be returned.

6. Penalties

Failure to report as required by a pawnbroker is a misdemeanor level offense. Those convicted can be sentenced to a maximum of six months in jail in addition to onerous court fines.

7. Criminal Defense for Failure to Report by a Pawnbroker Cases

If you or your business is under investigation for a failure to report offense or have already been charged criminally, it is absolutely critical that you go over your situation with a Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney right away. Los Angeles Criminal Defense Lawyer Michael Kraut is a former Deputy District Attorney with over 14 years of prosecutorial experience who understands how to effectively mount a defense on behalf of clients charged with offenses like this. Formerly assigned to the District Attorney Office’s elite Major Fraud unit, Mr. Kraut is experienced in dealing with white collar offenses and works hard to ensure his clients’ personal and professional interests are protected.

For more information about failure to report by a pawnbroker, and to schedule your free consultation, contact Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney Michael Kraut at the Kraut Law Group located at 6255 Sunset Boulevard, Suite 1480, Los Angeles, CA 90028. Mr. Kraut can be reached 24/7 at 888-334-6344 or 323-464-6453.

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