Business and Professions Code 21628 BPC – Failure to Report by Pawnbroker

Business and Professions Code 21628 BPC is the California statute that makes it a crime for a pawnbroker to fail to comply with certain reporting requirements. These requirements apply to any property that the pawnbroker:

  • buys,
  • trades, or
  • receives.

According to this statute:

“Every secondhand dealer or coin dealer…shall report daily, or no later than the next business day excluding weekends and holidays after receipt or purchase of secondhand tangible personal property, to CAPSS, all secondhand tangible personal property, except for firearms, which he or she has purchased, taken in trade, taken in pawn, accepted for sale on consignment, or accepted for auctioning…”

Examples of illegal acts under this code section are:

  • Dominique runs a pawnshop, buys a collection of antique knives, and does not file a report on them.
  • Pawnbroker California, Inc. trades for some sports collectibles and does not file a report.
  • Lisa is a pawnbroker, takes in a stereo, and fails to report it.

Defenses

Luckily, there are several legal defenses that a person can raise if accused. These include showing that an accused party:

Penalties

A violation of this section is charged as a misdemeanor (as opposed to an infraction or a California felony). The crime is punishable by:

  • imprisonment in the county jail for up to six months, and/or
  • a maximum fine of $1,000.

In lieu of jail time, a judge may award a defendant with misdemeanor (or summary) probation.

Our California criminal defense attorneys will highlight the following in this article:

jewelry

1. What is prohibited under Business and Professions Code 21628 BPC?

Business and Professions Code 21628 BPC is the California statute that makes it a crime for a pawnbroker to fail to comply with certain reporting requirements.

A prosecutor must prove three things to successfully convict a defendant under this statute. These are that the accused:

  1. was a secondhand dealer or coin dealer,
  2. did not report daily, or on the first working day after he purchased, took in trade or pawn, or accepted for sale on consignment to the sheriff or to the chief of police, and
  3. did not report using the correct forms.1

2. Are there legal defenses if accused?

Three common defenses are:

  1. not a pawnbroker,
  2. falsely accused, and/or,
  3. no probable cause.

2.1. Not a pawnbroker

Please recall that the statute at issue only applies to pawnbrokers – or, “secondhand dealers or coin dealers.” This means it is always a sound legal defense for a defendant to show that he was not one of these entities or persons.

2.2. Falsely accused

Unfortunately, it is not at all uncommon for people to get prosecuted based on false allegations. People get falsely accused out of

  • jealousy,
  • revenge, and
  • anger.

Thus, it is a valid defense for a defendant to say that a party falsely accused him of violating BPC 21628

2.3. No probable cause

The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution says that police must have probable cause before they can detain or arrest a suspect of a crime.

If a person was stopped or arrested for violating this section, and there was no probable cause, then any evidence obtained following the improper stop/arrest could get excluded from the case. This exclusion could result in the dismissal or reduction in charges.

gavel on money

3. Penalties, punishment, and sentencing

A violation of Business and professions Code 21628 is charged as a misdemeanor. The crime is punishable by:

  • imprisonment in the county jail for up to six months, and/or
  • a maximum fine of $1,000.

In lieu of jail time, a judge may award a defendant with misdemeanor (or summary) probation.

4. Related offenses

There are three crimes related to failure to report by a pawnbroker. These are:

  1. deceptive identification documents – BPC 22430
  2. receiving stolen property – PC 496a, and
  3. false advertising – BPC 17500.

4.1. Deceptive Identification Documents – BPC 22430

California Business and Professions Code 22430 BPC is the California statute that makes it a crime for a person to manufacture or sell deceptive identification documents.2

Examples of a “deceptive identification document” include a:

  • driver's license,
  • identification card,
  • birth certificate,
  • passport, and
  • social security card.3

A violation of Business and professions Code 22430 is a wobbler offense under California law. This means it can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony.

If charged as a misdemeanor, the crime is punishable by imprisonment in the county jail for up to one year.4

If charged as a felony, the offense is punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for up to three years.5

4.2. Receiving stolen property – PC 496a

Penal Code 496a is the California statute that defines the crime of "receiving stolen property."

This section makes it a crime to

  • buy,
  • receive,
  • conceal,
  • sell, or
  • withhold from the owner

any property that he/she knows to be stolen.6

In most cases, a violation of PC 496a may be charged as either a California misdemeanor or a California felony.

However, if the total value of the property involved is nine hundred fifty dollars ($950) or less, then receiving stolen property can only be charged as a misdemeanor.7

Potential misdemeanor penalties under this statute include:

  • up to one year in county jail, and/or
  • a fine of up to $1,000.8

And for receiving stolen property charged as a felony, potential consequences include:

  • 16 months, two years, or three years in county jail, and/or
  • a fine of up to $10,000.9

4.3. False advertising – BPC 17500

California Business and Professions Code 17500 BPC is the California statute that makes false advertising a crime.

A person or company that violates BPC 17500 is guilty of a misdemeanor.10 The offense is punishable by:

  • imprisonment in the county jail for up to six months; and/or,
  • a fine not to exceed $2,500.11

Are you a pawnbroker in California and were accused of failing to report? Call us for help…

california criminal defense attorneys
Call us for help at (855) LAW-FIRM

If you or someone you know has been accused of a crime under Business and Professions Code 21628 BPC, we invite you to contact us for a free consultation. We can be reached 24/7 at 855-LawFirm.


Legal References:

  1. California Business and Professions Code 21628 BPC. This code section states: “Every secondhand dealer or coin dealer described in Section 21626 shall report daily, or no later than the next business day excluding weekends and holidays after receipt or purchase of secondhand tangible personal property, to CAPSS, all secondhand tangible personal property, except for firearms, which he or she has purchased, taken in trade, taken in pawn, accepted for sale on consignment, or accepted for auctioning, in accordance with the provisions of Section 21630 and subdivision (d).”

  2. California Business and Professions Code 22430 BPC.

  3. See same.

  4. See same.

  5. California Penal Code 1170 PC.

  6. California Penal Code 496a PC.

  7. See same.

  8. See same.

  9. See same. See also Penal Code 1170 PC.

  10. California Business and Professions Code 17500 BPC.

  11. See same.

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