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(a) As used in this section, unless the context otherwise requires:
(1) “Lease” means the grant of use and possession of a motor vehicle for consideration, whether or not the grant includes an option to buy the vehicle;
(2) “Motor vehicle” means a device in, on, or by which a person or property is or may be transported or drawn on a highway, except a device used exclusively on stationary rails or tracks;
(3) “Security interest” means an interest in personal property or fixtures that secures payment or performance of an obligation;
(4) “Third party” means a person other than the actor or the owner of the vehicle; and
(5) “Transfer” means to transfer possession, whether or not another right is also transferred, by means of a sale, lease, sublease, lease assignment or other property transfer.
(b) A person commits an offense if the person acquires, accepts possession of, or exercises control over the motor vehicle of another under a written or oral agreement to arrange for the transfer of the vehicle to a third party and:
(1) Knowing the vehicle is subject to a security interest, lease or lien, the person transfers the vehicle to a third party without first obtaining written authorization from the vehicle's secured creditor, lessor or lienholder;
(2) Intending to defraud or harm the vehicle's owner, the person transfers the vehicle to a third party;
(3) Intending to defraud or harm the vehicle's owner, the person disposes of the vehicle in a manner other than by transfer to a third party; or
(4) The person does not disclose the location of the vehicle on the request of the vehicle's owner, secured creditor, lessor or lienholder.
(c) For the purposes of subdivision (b)(2), the actor is presumed to have intended to defraud or harm the motor vehicle's owner if the actor does not take reasonable steps to determine whether or not the third party is financially able to pay for the vehicle.
(d) It is a defense to prosecution under subdivision (b)(1) that the entire indebtedness secured by or owned under the security interest, lease or lien is paid or satisfied in full not later than the thirtieth day after the date that the transfer was made.
(e) It is not a defense to prosecution under subdivision (b)(1) that the motor vehicle's owner has violated a contract creating a security interest, lease or lien in the motor vehicle.
(f) A violation of subdivision (b)(1), (2) or (3) is:
(1) A Class E felony if the value of the motor vehicle is less than twenty thousand dollars ($20,000); or
(2) A Class D felony if the value of the motor vehicle is twenty thousand dollars ($20,000) or more.
(g) A violation of subdivision (b)(4) is a Class B misdemeanor.
(h) In addition to any criminal penalties imposed by this section, a person who is found by a court of competent jurisdiction to have violated any part of this section shall be subject to civil liability to a vehicle owner, secured creditor, lessor or lienholder who prevails in an action brought under this section for the following:
(1) Three (3) times the actual value of the motor vehicle; and
(2) Reasonable costs and attorney's fees incurred by the person instituting the action.
Cite this article: FindLaw.com - Tennessee Code Title 39. Criminal Offenses § 39-14-147 - last updated January 01, 2020 | https://codes.findlaw.com/tn/title-39-criminal-offenses/tn-code-sect-39-14-147.html
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