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Trafficking Stolen Property in AZ: ARS 13-2307

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In the state of Arizona, trafficking stolen property is a serious offense under ARS 13-2307. This statute pertains to the act of knowingly trafficking in or receiving stolen property that belongs to another individual. Anyone found in possession of stolen property or involved in the sale or exchange of such items is guilty of this crime and could face significant consequences.

The penalties for trafficking stolen property in Arizona can include hefty fines and even years in prison.

If you have been accused of trafficking stolen property in Arizona, it is crucial to seek legal representation from a skilled defense lawyer who can advocate for your rights. At CHM Law, our experienced team is dedicated to protecting the rights of individuals facing criminal charges. Contact us for a free consultation to learn more about how we can assist you.

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Trafficking Stolen Property

Legal Definition of ‘Stolen Property’

In Arizona, “stolen property” is defined as property that has been taken from another person or entity without their consent, with the intent to permanently deprive the owner of its use or value. This encompasses a broad range of actions, from outright theft where items are physically taken without permission, to situations involving deceit or coercion where the owner is manipulated into relinquishing control of their property.

The key elements that characterize stolen property include:

  1. Lack of Consent: The property must be taken without the explicit permission of the rightful owner. This can occur through various means such as theft, burglary, or fraud. 
  2. Intent to Deprive: The individual taking the property must intend to keep it away from the owner permanently or for a duration that significantly diminishes its value or the owner’s enjoyment of it.

The definition is intended to cover all scenarios where property is wrongfully taken or withheld, ensuring that the law can address different forms of property crimes effectively.

selling stolen property

How Does Arizona Define Trafficking Stolen Property 

Arizona law categorizes trafficking stolen property based on the involvement and knowledge of the offender in the selling, transferring, or disposing of stolen property. Specifically, ARS 13-2307 defines this offense in two degrees:

Stolen Property in the First Degree

Under ARS 13-2307(C), trafficking stolen property in the first degree involves a proactive and leading role in the trafficking process. This includes initiating, organizing, financing, or otherwise directing the illegal transaction of stolen goods.

The law targets those who are at the helm of these operations.

Legal Elements to Prove

  • Knowledge and Intent: The prosecutor must show that the accused had explicit knowledge that the property was stolen and actively engaged in its trafficking.
  • Leadership or Organizational Role: Evidence of managing or supervising the trafficking operations significantly impacts the severity of the charge.


  • Classified as a Class 2 felony, trafficking in the first degree is among the more serious felony charges in Arizona, often resulting in substantial prison time, heavy fines, and long-term criminal records.

Stolen Property in the Second Degree

According to ARS 13-2307(C), trafficking stolen property in the second degree pertains to knowingly selling, purchasing, transferring, or possessing stolen property without necessarily organizing or leading the trafficking activities. This degree addresses individuals who partake in or facilitate the movement of stolen goods, possibly without direct involvement in higher-level planning or organization.

Legal Elements to Prove

  • Knowledge of the Property’s Status: The person must be proven to have known, or had reasonable grounds to suspect, that the property was stolen.
  • Involvement in Trafficking: Involvement can range from purchasing to selling or even holding stolen property, demonstrating a level of complicity.


  • This offense is treated as a Class 3 felony. While penalties may be less severe than those for first-degree trafficking, they still include potential prison sentences, significant fines, and a criminal record that can impact future opportunities.

In both degrees of trafficking stolen property, the focus is heavily on the intent and knowledge of the accused. 

Penalties for Trafficking in Stolen Property 

Trafficking in stolen property is a severe offense in Arizona, as outlined in Arizona Revised Statutes (ARS) 13-2307. The statute specifies stringent penalties that underscore the state’s strict stance against property crimes. Below is an overview of the consequences for each degree of this offense, emphasizing the legal, social, and economic ramifications.

First Degree Trafficking (Class 2 Felony)

First-degree trafficking is treated as one of the most severe non-homicidal offenses in Arizona. For individuals convicted of this Class 2 felony, the legal repercussions are significant:

  • Prison Time: Sentences range from 3 to 12.5 years for first-time offenders. Those with prior felony convictions may face even longer sentences.
  • Fines and Restitution: Convicts may be subjected to substantial fines and are typically required to make restitution payments to the victims, compensating them for their losses.

Second Degree Trafficking (Class 3 Felony)

While slightly less severe than first-degree trafficking, the penalties for second-degree trafficking remain harsh:

  • Prison Time: For those without prior convictions, prison sentences can vary from 2 to 8.75 years.
  • Fines: Significant fines are also imposed, along with the possibility of restitution to help restore the financial status of victims.

Enhancements and Aggravating Factors

The penalties can escalate for repeat offenders or if the trafficking involves highly valuable property or targets vulnerable populations. These enhancements reflect the increased severity of the crime and the corresponding societal impact.

Broader Implications of a Felony Conviction

Beyond the immediate legal consequences, a felony conviction carries a long-lasting impact. It can severely hinder employment prospects, restrict housing opportunities, and affect civil rights, including voting and owning firearms. The social stigma attached to a felony record also poses challenges in personal relationships and community integration.

evidence of stolen property

What If I Had No Knowledge That The Property Was Stolen 

In Arizona, establishing that an individual had no knowledge that property was stolen is a vital defense under ARS 13-2307, which deals with trafficking stolen property.

For a conviction to stand, it must be proven that the accused was aware that the property was stolen.

Evidence such as receipts, legitimate transaction records, or evidence of payment at fair market value can support a defense that the accused did not know the property was stolen. If a court is convinced that the accused did not have knowledge of the property’s stolen status, it can lead to the dismissal of trafficking charges or a reduction to lesser offenses.

Key Inferences in Trafficking Stolen Property Under ARS 13-2305

Arizona Revised Statutes (ARS) 13-2305 provides insights into the legal assumptions made when an individual is suspected of trafficking in stolen property.

The statute specifies several conditions under which the law permits certain inferences about a person’s knowledge concerning the stolen nature of the property.

Understanding these conditions can help individuals grasp the potential implications of their actions regarding handling property suspected to be stolen.

Conditions Leading to Legal Inferences

  1. Possession of Recently Stolen Property: If someone possesses property that has been recently stolen, the law may infer that this person knew the property was stolen, particularly if they cannot provide a satisfactory explanation for their possession of it. This inference is based on the assumption that possessing recently stolen goods, without a plausible lawful reason, suggests awareness of their illicit origin.
  2. Transactions Involving Substantially Lower Prices: The purchase or sale of stolen property at a price significantly below its fair market value can also lead to an inference that the buyer or seller knew the property was stolen. Such transactions typically suggest that the parties involved were aware of, or should have been aware of, the questionable nature of the deal.
  3. Dealing by Property Traders Outside Normal Operations: When a dealer in property buys or sells stolen goods outside their regular course of business or without the usual signs of legitimate ownership (such as documentation), it may be inferred that they were aware of the stolen nature of the property. This condition targets transactions that deviate from standard business practices, where the absence of typical transactional records or procedures suggests knowledge of the property’s illegality. 

These inferences are not conclusive proof of guilt but are intended to guide legal proceedings by suggesting where the burden of explanation lies.

Individuals involved in such scenarios should be prepared to provide clear and convincing explanations for their possession or handling of property under these circumstances. Engaging with knowledgeable legal counsel is advisable.

Contact a Criminal Defense Attorney From CHM 

If you’re facing charges of trafficking stolen property in Arizona, it’s crucial to seek knowledgeable legal representation. Colburn Hintze Maletta (CHM) offers skilled attorneys well-versed in Arizona’s legal system. With a client-focused approach and a strong track record in handling serious criminal cases, CHM ensures that every strategy is tailored to provide the best possible defense for their clients.

For those in need of immediate legal assistance, contacting CHM can make a significant difference in the outcome of your case. For more information or to schedule a consultation, call them directly at (602) 825-2500.

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