CHAPTER 32. FRAUD
§ 32.34. FRAUDULENT TRANSFER OF A MOTOR VEHICLE.
(a) In this section:
(1) "Lease" means the grant of use and possession of a motor vehicle for consideration, whether or not the grant includes
an option to buy the vehicle.
(2) "Motor vehicle" means a device in, on, or by which
a person or property is or may be transported or drawn on a highway,
except a device used exclusively on stationary rails or tracks.
(3) "Security interest" means an interest in personal
property or fixtures that secures payment or performance of an
(4) "Third party" means a person other than the actor
or the owner of the vehicle.
(5) "Transfer" means to transfer possession, whether
or not another right is also transferred, by means of a sale, lease,
sublease, lease assignment, or other property transfer.
(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.
(c) For the purposes of Subsection (b)(2), the actor is
presumed to have intended to defraud or harm the motor vehicle's
owner if the actor does not take reasonable steps to determine
whether or not the third party is financially able to pay for the
(d) It is a defense to prosecution under Subsection (b)(1)
that the entire indebtedness secured by or owed under the security
interest, lease, or lien is paid or satisfied in full not later than
the 30th day after the date that the transfer was made.
(e) It is not a defense to prosecution under Subsection
(b)(1) that the motor vehicle's owner has violated a contract
creating a security interest, lease, or lien in the motor vehicle.
(f) An offense under Subsection (b)(1), (b)(2), or (b)(3)
(1) a state jail felony if the value of the motor
vehicle is less than $20,000; or
(2) a felony of the third degree if the value of the
motor vehicle is $20,000 or more.
(g) An offense under Subsection (b)(4) is a Class A