How much time can one get for pawning items that was unknowingly stolen?

Asked almost 2 years ago - Knoxville, TN

My 18yr old son was arrested on three felonies for selling stolen items to a pawn shop. Two were aggravated burglaries and the other a theft between $10000 - $60000. He was given checks totaling $630 that was taken right out his hands from his two 17 old friends. Will he have to go to jail for something he truly had no knowledge of? He also has a prior petty theft on his record from 2mo prior. There is also video footage of the other guys doing all the talking at the counter while my son fell asleep in chair while waiting and he has often been used liked this previously as he has some slight delays and is on disability for his diagnosis.

Attorney answers (2)

  1. R. Alexander Brown


    Contributor Level 7

    Answered . Knowledge is the most important aspect of this case. The state has to prove some level of knowledge. Often they rely on "should have known" it a case where it is obvious that these two 17 year olds stole the merchandise. So it becomes very important to find out what the evidence against your son has been gathered. Has he or the other two boys given statements to the investigating officers, were fingerprints or some other evidence gathered at the locations. You really must find out what the evidence is against him to be able to determine if there is a strong defense based on knowledge. As for his disability that may be a defense as well, but that would have to be discussed as well, to determine if it rises to the level of a legal defense.

  2. Norman Delton McKellar

    Contributor Level 8

    Answered . Based on the information that you've provided, it appears that your son has been charged with 3 Class C felonies, which typically will carry a 3-6 year punishment range. However, the judge will have the option to run any sentence consecutively or concurrently, which could have a tremendous impact on the total amount of punishment your son may be facing. You and/or your son should contact a criminal defense attorney immediately.

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