A pawnshop is a store where personal loans are made in exchange for property as security. Generally, pawnshops also offers that personal property up for sale to the public as well.

Are There Laws Regarding Pawnshops?

Since pawnshops have historically been a place where criminals have exchanged stolen property for money, many states have created special laws that pertain to pawnshops. Some of those laws may require a pawnshop to:
  • Establish its good character before being licensed
  • Maintain a permanent record book that has detailed information about each transaction
  • Allow the police warrantless searches of record books
  • Allow the police warrantless seizures of stolen property
  • Give customers a corresponding "pledge ticket" to the goods and record book
  • Take pictures of customers and give the pictures to the police upon their request
  • Require customers to give their finger prints

Potential Legal Consequences for Violations

If a pawnshop fails to do any of the above requirements by law:
  • It can be shut down
  • It can be fined
  • The owner can be placed in jail

Do I Need an Attorney for a Pawnshop and Criminal Liability Issue?

If you are associated with a pawnshop and are experiencing any of the requirements by law, or are being charged with violating the law regarding pawnshops, it is highly recommended for you to contact a business attorney. Only they will be able to properly explain the issues to you and help in your defense.