Texas Penal Code 37.101 – Fraudulent Filing of Financing Statement
WHAT IS FRAUDULENT FILING OF FINANCING STATEMENT IN TEXAS?
The Texas law against fraudulently filing a financing statement prohibits filing a financing statement that is groundless, or contains a materially false factual representation. A person also commits fraudulently filing a financing statement by forging a financing statement under another’s name or information.
WHAT IS THE FRAUDULENT FILING OF FINANCING STATEMENT LAW IN TEXAS?
Tex. Penal Code § 37.101. FRAUDULENT FILING OF FINANCING STATEMENT.
(a) A person commits an offense if the person knowingly presents for filing or causes to be presented for filing a financing statement that the person knows:
(1) is forged;
(2) contains a material false statement; or
(3) is groundless.
(b) An offense under Subsection (a)(1) is a felony of the third degree, unless it is shown on the trial of the offense that the person had previously been convicted under this section on two or more occasions, in which event the offense is a felony of the second degree. An offense under Subsection (a)(2) or (a)(3) is a Class A misdemeanor, unless the person commits the offense with the intent to defraud or harm another, in which event the offense is a state jail felony.
WHAT IS THE PENALTY CLASS FOR FRAUDULENT FILING OF FINANCING STATEMENT IN TEXAS?
Filing a groundless financing statement or one that contains a material false statement is a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail.
If the person files a groundless or materially false financing statement with intent to defraud or harm another, it is a state jail felony, punishable by 180 days to two years in a state jail facility.
The first and second time a person is charged with filing a forged financing statement, it is a third degree, punishable by two to ten years in prison. If, however, a person has two previous convictions for filing forged financing statements, the third offense is a second degree felony, punishable by two to 20 years in prison.
WHAT IS THE PUNISHMENT RANGE FOR FRAUDULENT FILING OF FINANCING STATEMENT IN TEXAS?
Fraudulent filing of a financing statement charged as a Class A misdemeanor carries up to a year in jail, and a maximum fine of $4,000. If the offense is charged as a state jail felony, an accused faces between 180 days and two years in a state jail facility, and up to a $10,000 fine.
Fraudulently filing a financing statement charged as a third degree felony carries between two and ten years in prison, and a maximum fine of $10,000. A second degree felony fraudulent filing of a financial statement carries between two and 20 years in prison, and a maximum $10,000 fine.
WHAT ARE THE PENALTIES FOR FRAUDULENT FILING OF FINANCING STATEMENT IN TEXAS?
A person charged with fraudulent filing of a financing statement may be eligible for probation upon a conviction, or deferred adjudication without a conviction.
If the offense is a Class A misdemeanor, the maximum supervision term is two years. If it is a state jail felony, the maximum period of supervision is five years, with the possibility of extending it up to ten. Fraudulently filing a financing statement charged as a second degree felony or third degree felony carries a maximum community supervision term of ten years.
WHAT ARE THE DEFENSES TO FRAUDULENT FILING OF FINANCING STATEMENT IN TEXAS?
The statute does not authorize specific defenses to fraudulent filing of a financial statement. A person accused thereof may attempt to negate at least one of the elements the State must prove at trial.
WHAT IS THE STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS FOR FRAUDULENT FILING OF FINANCING STATEMENT IN TEXAS?
The limitation period for the fraudulent filing of a financing statement categorized as a Class A misdemeanor is two years. If it is a second degree, third degree, or state jail felony, the statute of limitations is three years.
FRAUDULENT FILING OF FINANCING STATEMENT IN TEXAS
A person may not intentionally or knowingly present for filing or cause to be presented for filing a financing statement that the person knows is forged, contains a material false statement, or is groundless.
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DRIVING WHILE INTOXICATED .15
Driving facts involved failing to maintain a single lane and speeding. Client refused breath test and forced law enforcement to obtain search warrant for blood. Blood test result was not used after challenge from Defense, and State waived and abandoned charge.
DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE
Client was a college student, worried about the collateral consequences of an alcohol offense. After negotiation and review of the traffic stop, the case was dismissed. Client received no criminal conviction. The charge was later expunged and deleted from client’s record.
DRIVING WHILE INTOXICATED .15+
Client was involved in minor accident. Client was at fault in accident. A young executive, client was concerned that a criminal conviction for DWI would result in termination. After review of the traffic stop, it was clear the officer lacked probable cause for arrest. State eventually dismissed DWI charge. Client received no criminal conviction.
Client, a military veteran, was facing up to one year in jail. State could not prove intoxication by alcohol, and was prepared to proceed on loss of use by marijuana. After challenging the State to prove that marijuana was ingested at or near time of driving, and that marijuana impaired client’s driving, the State dismissed the case on the day of trial.
DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE
Driving facts involved a false claim by police that taillight was out. After challenging the reasonable suspicion for the traffic stop, the State was forced to dismiss the case when video did not match police report. Client has since expunged arrest, and has no criminal record.
DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE
Client is a public school teacher and faced immediate termination upon conviction. The facts of the case were bad. State was unwilling to budge in negotiation, and matter was set for trial – the last shot at avoiding a conviction and preserving client’s livelihood. State was forced to dismiss on day of trial. Client has no criminal record, and has since expunged the DWI arrest.
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