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Failure to Return Personal Property

Contact Our Miami Property Crime Defense Lawyers for a Free, Confidential Consultation

If you were charged with a third-degree felony charge for “failure to redeliver hired or leased personal property or equipment” under Section 812.155(3), Florida Statutes, you should call attorney E.J. Hubbs to discuss your case. Attorney E.J. Hubbs represents clients charged with the failure to return leased property and related charges in Miami, Miami-Dade County and the surrounding areas in South Florida.

Call (305) 570-4802 today for a free consultation!

In these prosecutions, the State Attorney’s Office must prove, among other things, that the lessee failed to return the property or equipment after receipt of or within five days after return receipt from the certified mailing of the demand for the return of the property or equipment.

In many of these cases, the merchants will send letters demanding payments, requesting arrangements for payments, or the return of property or equipment. In some of these cases, the lessee will make several payments and then stopped paying. The merchant will then file a police report, based on the original letter without disclosing the subsequent agreements.

In many of these cases, a motion to dismiss can be filed. This procedure is not appropriate because the statute requires a demand for the return of the property at the termination of the period for which the property or equipment was leased.

Once the lessee has failed to make payments, letters asking for payments, arrangement for payments, and the return of the property or equipment can be sent. However, if no payments or arrangements for payments are made and the property or equipment is not returned, a certified letter, return receipt requested, terminating the contract and demanding the return of the property or equipment, should be sent, in accordance with section 812.155, Florida Statutes.

Penalties for "Failing to Returned Leased Property"

Under Florida law, the failure to return or redeliver hired, leased, or rented personal property can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony.

The classification of the crime as a felony or a misdemeanor depends on the value of the property or equipment in question:

  • If the property is valued at less than $300, then the crime is classified as a second-degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to 60 days in jail or 6 months' probation and/or a $500 fine
  • If the property is valued at $300 or greater, then the offense is classified as a third-degree felony, with penalties of up to 5 years in prison or 5 years' probation and/or $5,000 fine

The Sample “Demand for Return of Property" Letter

The State Attorney’s Office in Miami will suggest that merchants use the following sample letter:

Demand for Return of Property Letter:

You are hereby notified that the leasing contract you signed on________, has been terminated for failure to meet your payment requirements. This is a demand for the immediate return of _____________ that you leased from us on _______. Pursuant to Florida Law, you have 5 days from the date of this notice to return our property or equipment.

As indicated on your rental agreement, failure to return rental property or equipment upon expiration of the rental period and failure to pay all amounts due (including costs for damage to the property or equipment) are prima facie evidence of intent to defraud, punishable in accordance with section 812.155, Florida Statutes.

Unless our property is returned 5 days from the date of this notice, we will refer this matter to the ____________ Police Department for criminal prosecution.

Attorneys for Failure to Returned Leased Property in Miami

If you were charged with failing to return leased property in Miami, FL, or the surrounding areas in Miami-Dade County, contact attorney E.J. Hubbs to discuss your case. Hubbs Law Firm represents clients charged with a variety of serious property crimes related to fraud or theft.

Call our Miami property crime attorneys today at (305) 570-4802 for a free consultation.

Attorneys E.J. & Erika Hubbs As professional defense attorneys, we take every case personally give every client the deliberate care it deserves. Our clients become part of our family and we fight relentlessly for their rights. Read more about us to find out how we can help you. 

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