Fraudulent Transfer of Motor Vehicle graphic with Texas flag
Fraudulent Transfer of Motor Vehicle graphic with Texas flag

Fraudulent Transfer of a Motor Vehicle

The Fraudulent Transfer of a Motor Vehicle crime in the state of Texas gives police the right to arrest you if they believe you illegally transferred a motor vehicle to a third party with the intent to defraud or harm the vehicle’s owner. Learn more detailed information about the Fraudulent Transfer of a Motor Vehicle offense below.

Have you been charged with Fraudulent Transfer of a Motor Vehicle? Call criminal lawyer Paul Saputo at (888) 239-9305 to discuss legal representation.

Fraudulent Transfer of a Motor Vehicle is classified in the Texas Penal Code under Title 7 “Offenses Against Property,” Chapter 32 “Fraud.”

What is the current Texas law about Fraudulent Transfer of a Motor Vehicle?

The current Texas law is as follows:1

(b) A person commits an offense if the person acquires, accepts possession of, or exercises control over the motor vehicle of another under a written or oral agreement to arrange for the transfer of the vehicle to a third party and:

(1) knowing the vehicle is subject to a security interest, lease, or lien, the person transfers the vehicle to a third party without first obtaining written authorization from the vehicle’s secured creditor, lessor, or lienholder;

(2) intending to defraud or harm the vehicle’s owner, the person transfers the vehicle to a third party;

(3) intending to defraud or harm the vehicle’s owner, the person disposes of the vehicle in a manner other than by transfer to a third party; or

(4) the person does not disclose the location of the vehicle on the request of the vehicle’s owner, secured creditor, lessor, or lienholder.

How can I be charged with Fraudulent Transfer of a Motor Vehicle?

You can be charged with Fraudulent Transfer of a Motor Vehicle if the state’s attorneys believe that each of the elements of 32.34(b) as described in the section above have been met.

What is the punishment for Fraudulent Transfer of a Motor Vehicle?

If the offense falls under subsection (b)(1), (b)(2), or (b)(3) and the motor vehicle’s value is less than $30,000 then a conviction for Fraudulent Transfer of a Motor Vehicle is punished as a State Jail Felony,2 with a maximum possible fine under Texas state law of up to $10,000 and jail time of up to 2 years.

If the offense falls under subsection (b)(1), (b)(2), or (b)(3) and the motor vehicle’s value is $30,000 or more but less than 150,000 then a conviction for Fraudulent Transfer of a Motor Vehicle is punished as a Felony of the Third Degree,3 with a maximum possible fine under Texas state law of up to $10,000 and prison time of up to 10 years.

If the offense falls under subsection (b)(1), (b)(2), or (b)(3) and the motor vehicle’s value is $150,000 or more but less than 300,000 then a conviction for Fraudulent Transfer of a Motor Vehicle is punished as a Felony of the Second Degree,4 with a maximum possible fine under Texas state law of up to $10,000 and prison time of up to 20 years.

If the offense falls under subsection (b)(1), (b)(2), or (b)(3) and the motor vehicle’s value is $300,000 or more then a conviction for Fraudulent Transfer of a Motor Vehicle is punished as a Felony of the First Degree,5 with a maximum possible fine under Texas state law of up to $10,000 and up to life in prison.

If the offense falls under subsection (b)(4) then a conviction for Fraudulent Transfer of a Motor Vehicle is punished as a Class A misdemeanor,6 with a maximum possible fine under Texas state law of up to $4,000 and jail time of up to one year. Learn about the differences between grades of felonies and misdemeanors


Legal References:

1 Texas Penal Code §32.34

2 Texas Penal Code §32.34(f)(1)

3 Texas Penal Code §32.34(f)(2)

4 Texas Penal Code §32.34(f)(3)

5 Texas Penal Code §32.34(f)(4)

6 Texas Penal Code §32.34(g)

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