Holly Springs, NC asked in Criminal Law for North Carolina

Q: Can you break this down and tell me what the violation to be charged with this would be?

General Statutes § 14-114. Fraudulent disposal of personal property

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1 Lawyer Answer
Philip J. Clarke III
Philip J. Clarke III
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Morehead City, NC
  • Licensed in North Carolina

A: This is a class 2 misdemeanor (next to the lowest level misdemeanor) and is set up to be quite easy to prove against the person accused.

The offense is for a person who has purchased some item on credit, with the seller or a separate lender having a security interest in the property. In other words, the lender has papers signed by the person that give the lender the right to come and get the item if the person fails to pay. The statute essentially says that the person's intent to defraud the creditor can be inferred by the property not being available for the sheriff to pick up. This can be rebutted by the accused by showing that the property being unavailable is of no fault of his, but this can be hard to prove if the person wasn't thinking ahead. These cases are often real stinky in my opinion, and if I was speaking to a person (maybe about a job) with only this on their record I wouldn't read much of anything into it. Oftentimes predatory lenders who sell overpriced items to people who are short on credit or downright poor will sell a couch or a television on credit and charge so much (value x3or4) and such a high rate of interest that the person is paying for this thing long after it has fallen apart and been dragged to the curb. Then when times get tougher and they fail to pay, the real crooks have the person charged with this or take them to small claims court and get a judgment. You hit one of my soft spots with this one. Good judges often see that these swindlers have already collected more than the they ever should have gotten and toss the cases.

I hope this gives something of what you were looking for. Perhaps someone else will chime in if not. Please understand that this is not intended as legal advice. I am not acting as the lawyer for any reader here, but this is provided only for educational and entertainment purposes. IF YOU NEED LEGAL HELP YOU SHOULD CONTACT AN ATTORNEY.

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