Individuals in California are legally expected to do everything in their power to pay their debts. Attempting to avoid the payment of debts may result in a conviction under California Penal Code Section 154 & 155: Fraudulent Conveyance By A Debtor or a Judgment Debtor.
You can focus on the exact definition of PC 154 and 155 charges right here. Find out how these charges are prosecuted and learn more about possible legal defense to a fraudulent conveyance by a debtor charges with the Simmrin Law Group.
Let’s Define PC 154 and 155 in California
Fraudulent conveyance by a debtor is a complicated way of saying that someone transferred their property to:
- Conceal That Property AND
- Avoid Paying off Judgments or Debt
Delaying the payment of a creditor or simply making it harder for the debtor to collect funds can be enough to earn PC 154 or 155 charges. Individuals may attempt to conceal their property by:
- Hiding Property
- Moving Property to Another State
- Giving Property Away
- Selling Property
These actions are, of course, usually well within an individual’s rights in California. However, individuals are not allowed to take them if they are acting to avoid:
- Repaying a Creditor
- Allowing Collection on a Civil Judgement
PC 154 charges are used if someone tries to avoid repaying a creditor. The court utilizes PC 155 charges if an individual is attempting to avoid properly paying a civil judgment. Note that individuals may also face criminal charges for attempting to help someone who is violating PC 154 or 155. Penal Code Section 531: Party to a Fraudulent Conveyance can lead to harsh penalties.
The Penalties for a PC 154 or 155 Conviction
Individuals who are charged with fraudulent conveyance by a debtor or judgment debtor can end up facing serious repercussions. Both PC 154 and 155 can be prosecuted as misdemeanors or felonies. Misdemeanor charges can result in:
- Fines: Up to $1,000
- Jail Time: Up to 1 Year
The court can utilize felony charges if an individual attempts fraudulent conveyance of:
- Property That is In Any Way Part of Their “Stock in Trade”
- That is Worth More Than $250
Property may be considered part of an individual’s “stock in Trade” if they could sell it while carrying out aspects of their normal course of business. A felony conviction can result in higher fines and prison time of up to 3 years.
Examples of PC 154 or 155 Violations in California
You can familiarize yourself with PC 154 and 155 violations with these examples:
Man A runs up a tremendous amount of debt after getting involved in a pyramid scheme. He is considering bankruptcy and doesn’t want to lose any of his possessions. He transfers his vehicle and home to his son’s name to protect them, but continues living in the home and driving the vehicle. He could be convicted under PC 154.
Man B hits another vehicle while driving under the influence. The other driver is injured. Man B avoids criminal charges but loses his civil case with the other driver. The court orders Man B to pay restitution to the victim, but he tries to hide his savings so he does not have to give them up. Man B could face criminal charges for a PC 155 violation.
PC 154 and 155 Charges and Legal Defenses
A PC 154 or 155 violation does not have to result in a conviction. Individuals who contact a criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles as soon as they are charged can increase their odds of beating the accusations they are facing.
A professional legal team may be able to argue that you did not intend to avoid paying a debt.
People transfer, sell, and give away property every day. Moving your property is legally acceptable unless you are trying to avoid paying a debt or a civil judgment. A criminal defense lawyer can work to show that you were not committing an illegal act when you moved, sold, or gave away your property.
Call a Criminal Defense Lawyer to Handle PC 154 or 155 Charges
Trying to handle California Penal Code Section 154 & 155: Fraudulent Conveyance By A Debtor / Judgment Debtor charges on your own can lead to a conviction. Make sure you’re ready to face these charges head-on by contacting the Simmrin Law Group. You can reach us by calling (310) 896-2723, or completing our online contact form.
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