Legal Question in Business Law in Texas


if you purchase and sell medical equipment for a living,and one customer was selling you hot or stolen items,but you did not know this, and wrote checks to the idividual[for equip] do i have any exposure.i show all the checks in my checkbook. the owner of the co. wants to see all checks i wrote this individual,i have ordered them.i have nothing to hide,but im worried if there is any exposure. what i can do befor hand to protect myself.i have a wide range of customers from indiviuals,docs,companies etc..

thanks in advance for your time.

Asked on 6/29/03, 10:59 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Basil Hoyl Law office of Basil Hoyl

Re: med

Here is a redacted portion of Section 31.03 the Texas law against theft. Pay close attention to c 3. For additional information about criminal law, see my website at

Texas Penal Code

31.03 Theft

(a) A person commits an offense if he unlawfully appropriates property with intent to deprive the owner of property.

(b) Appropriation of property is unlawful if:

(1) it is without the owner's effective consent;

(2) the property is stolen and the actor appropriates the property knowing it was stolen by another; or

(3) property in the custody of any law enforcement agency was explicitly represented by any law enforcement agent to the actor as being stolen and the actor appropriates the property believing it was stolen by another.

(c) For purposes of Subsection (b):

(1) evidence that the actor has previously participated in recent transactions other than, but similar to, that which the prosecution is based is admissible for the purpose of showing knowledge or intent and the issues of knowledge or intent are raised by the actor's plea of not guilty;

(2) the testimony of an accomplice shall be corroborated by proof that tends to connect the actor to the crime, but the actor's knowledge or intent may be established by the uncorroborated testimony of the accomplice;

(3) an actor engaged in the business of buying and selling used or secondhand personal property, or lending money on the security of personal property deposited with the actor, is presumed to know upon receipt by the actor of stolen property (other than a motor vehicle subject to Chapter 501, Transportation Code) that the property has been previously stolen from another if the actor pays for or loans against the property $25 or more (or consideration of equivalent value) and the actor knowingly or recklessly:

(A) fails to record the name, address, and physical description or identification number of the seller or pledgor;

(B) fails to record a complete description of the property, including the serial number, if reasonably available, or other identifying characteristics; or

(C) fails to obtain a signed warranty from the seller or pledgor that the seller or pledgor has the right to possess the property. It is the express intent of this provision that the presumption arises unless the actor complies with each of the numbered requirements;

(4) for the purposes of Subdivision (3)(A), "identification number" means driver's license number, military identification number, identification certificate, or other official number capable of identifying an individual;

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Answered on 6/29/03, 11:24 am

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