Fort Lauderdale Criminal lawyer William R. Moore

Removing Identification Marks

“In Florida, if you remove, erase, deface or alter in any other way any identification marks made by the true owner of personal property or serial number placed on said property by the manufacturer, you may be found guilty of a first-degree misdemeanor. To be convicted, you must have intended to prevent identification of the personal property by its rightful owner.”

If you possess personal property that you know has marks or serial numbers that have been altered, erased, defaced or removed to prevent identification by the rightful owner, you may be found guilty of a first-degree misdemeanor. The marks include serial numbers placed on such property by the manufacturer.

A first degree misdemeanor is punishable by up to a year of incarceration and/or up to a $1,000 fine.

Florida Statute 817.235Personal property; removing or altering identification marks

(1) Except as otherwise provided by law, any person who, with intent to prevent identification by the true owner, removes, erases, defaces, or otherwise alters any serial number or other mark of identification placed on any item of personal property by the manufacturer or owner thereof is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
(2) Any person who possesses any item of personal property with the knowledge that the serial number or other mark of identification placed thereon by the manufacturer or owner thereof has been removed, erased, defaced, or otherwise altered with intent to prevent identification by the true owner is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.