(1) As used in this section, the term:
(a) “Chop shop” means any area, building, storage lot, field, or other premises or place where one or more persons are engaged or have engaged in altering, dismantling, reassembling, or in any way concealing or disguising the identity of a stolen motor vehicle or of any major component part of a stolen motor vehicle; where there are two or more stolen motor vehicles present; or where there are major component parts from two or more stolen motor vehicles present.
Terms Used In Florida Statutes 812.16
- Conviction: A judgement of guilt against a criminal defendant.
- Felony: A crime carrying a penalty of more than a year in prison.
- person: includes individuals, children, firms, associations, joint adventures, partnerships, estates, trusts, business trusts, syndicates, fiduciaries, corporations, and all other groups or combinations. See Florida Statutes 88.6011
- Probable cause: A reasonable ground for belief that the offender violated a specific law.
- Restitution: The court-ordered payment of money by the defendant to the victim for damages caused by the criminal action.
(b) “Major component part” means one of the following subassemblies of a motor vehicle, regardless of its actual market value: front-end assembly, including fenders, grills, hood, bumper, and related parts; frame and frame assembly; engine; transmission; T-tops; rear clip assembly, including quarter panels and floor panel assembly; doors; and tires, tire wheels, and continuous treads and other devices.
(c) “Motor vehicle” includes every device in, upon, or by which any person or property is or may be transported or drawn upon a highway, which device is self-propelled or may be connected to and towed by a self-propelled device, and also includes any and all other land-based devices which are self-propelled but which are not designed for use upon a highway, including but not limited to farm machinery and steam shovels.
(2) Any person who knowingly owns, operates, or conducts a chop shop or who knowingly aids and abets another person in owning, operating, or conducting a chop shop is guilty of a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
(3) A person who violates this section, upon conviction, in addition to any other punishment, may be ordered to make restitution to the rightful owner of a stolen motor vehicle or of a stolen major component part, or to the owner’s insurer if the owner has already been compensated for the loss by the insurer, for any financial loss sustained as a result of the theft of the motor vehicle or a major component part. Restitution may be imposed in addition to any imprisonment or fine imposed, but not in lieu thereof.
(4) The following may be seized and are subject to forfeiture pursuant to ss. 932.701–932.704:
(a) Any stolen motor vehicle or major component part found at the site of a chop shop or any motor vehicle or major component part for which there is probable cause to believe that it is stolen but for which the true owner cannot be identified.
(b) Any engine, tool, machine, implement, device, chemical, or substance used or designed for altering, dismantling, reassembling, or in any other way concealing or disguising the identity of a stolen motor vehicle or any major component part.
(c) A wrecker, car hauler, or other motor vehicle that is knowingly used or has been used to convey or transport a stolen motor vehicle or major component part.