Inducement by Deception
In some cases, the prosecutor will allege the defendant committed theft of money “by deception” by acquiring money, property or any other than of value from another without that person’s effective consent. Consent is not effective if it is induced by deception. Texas Penal Code Section 31.01(3)(A).
When a defendant is charged with theft by way of deception, the State is bound to prove deception. Fernandez v. State, 479 S.W.3d 835, 838 (Tex. Crim. App. 2016). To prove theft by deception, the State must show that the owner of the misappropriated property was induced to consent to its transfer because of a deceptive act of the defendant. Id. (citing Daugherty v. State, 387 S.W.3d 654, 659 (Tex. Crim. App. 2013)). Therefore, the prosecution must prove that the defendant's deceptive act impacted the judgment of the property owner in the transaction. Id
By failing to correct a false impression, silence itself may constitute a deceptive act. See Fernandez, 479 S.W.3d at 839. Several important defenses exist to fight these charges at every stage.
Attorney for Inducement by Deception Thefts in Texas
If you were charged with the crime of theft involving inducement by deception then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney in San Antonio, TX.
Don Flanary represents clients charged with theft crimes throughout the greater San Antonio area including Bexar County and the surrounding counties of Kendall County, Comal County, Guadalupe County, Wilson County, Atascosa County, Medina County, and Bandera County.
Call (210) 738-8383 for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your case today.
Definitions in the Deception Theft Statute in Texas
Texas law defines the term "deception" to mean:
(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;
(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;
(C) preventing another from acquiring information likely to affect his judgment in the transaction;
(D) selling or otherwise transferring or encumbering the 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; 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.
Texas Penal Code Section 31.01(1)(B), (D) (2016).
This article was last updated on Tuesday, January 3, 2016.