Theft by Texas (Part Two)

crowbar-854266-s.jpgThe Penal Code says that “Consent is not effective if: (A) induced by deception or coercion; (B) given by a person the actor knows is not legally authorized to act for the owner; (C) given by a person who by reason of youth, mental disease or defect, or intoxication is known by the actor to be unable to make reasonable property dispositions; … or (E) given by a person who by reason of advanced age is known by the actor to have a diminished capacity to make informed and rational decisions about the reasonable disposition of property.” So, you cannot gain effective consent by either false pretenses or threats, youth, old age, mental illness or even intoxication.

Deception can be a lot broader than the ordinary meaning of the term. The Penal Code defines it as “(A) creating or confirming by words or conduct a false impression of law or fact that is likely to affect the judgment of another in the transaction, and that the actor does not believe to be true; (not just false words, false impression) (B) failing to correct a false impression of law or fact that is likely to affect the judgment of another in the transaction, that the actor previously created or confirmed by words or conduct, and that the actor does not now believe to be true; (you have to proactively fix what you thought was true) (C) preventing another from acquiring information likely to affect his judgment in the transaction;(D) selling or otherwise transferring or encumbering property without disclosing a lien, security interest, adverse claim, or other legal impediment to the enjoyment of the property, whether the lien, security interest, claim, or impediment is or is not valid, or is or is not a matter of official record; (so you have an affirmative duty to know all easements or other legal clouds on your title, as if you were a title company) or (E) promising performance that is likely to affect the judgment of another in the transaction and that the actor does not intend to perform or knows will not be performed, except that failure to perform the promise in issue without other evidence of intent or knowledge is not sufficient proof that the actor did not intend to perform or knew the promise would not be performed (so contractors are treated a lot easier than property sellers?).

If you or someone you know is being investigated or prosecuted for a crime, call Board Certified Criminal Law Specialist Micah Belden at 903-744-4252.