What to do if my boyfriend bought a phone off the street for $200 but when he brought it home, he realized that it had been stolen?

We called the phone number on the phone to return the phone to the owner, because she said that she would pay us the $200 we spent on the phone, she just wanted it back. when we went to meet her to return the phone my boyfriend got arrested. The police told us if we set the man up who stole the phone,they may reduce my boyfriends charge which is supposed to be a felony. maybe. I don’t want to put our family at risk by setting the man up if they dont even drop his charges. It seems like the police are trying to use us. What do we do?

Asked on April 2, 2014 under Criminal Law, Florida


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Get a criminal defense attorney *IMMEDIATELY*. If your boyfriend did not know the phone was stolen, he likely did not commit a crime (you only commit a crime is you had a criminal intention or state of mind)--making the arrest improper and leaving the police with no leverage. However, you and he will need experienced criminal defense counsel to help show that this was the case and get the charges dropped.

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