Since theft of services is considered to be a misdemeanor charge and not a felony, it is a less serious offense. If our defense attorneys are hired early enough in the process, we can often manage to have the charges reduced or even dropped altogether. We use our plea-bargaining skills to produce the best possible outcome for each of our clients, and if a theft of services case goes to trial, our outstanding courtroom skills will be put to use in order to obtain a dismissal of all charges in a theft of service case or against other theft-related offense charges.
Analyzing Facts to Build a Solid Defense
Our team is comprised of big-firm lawyers and former prosecutors, so we know all of the tricks of the trade and have many years of experience working both sides of the criminal litigation bar.
In order to understand the legal process behind these cases, it is important to know that a “theft of services” offense occurs any time an individual avoids or attempts to avoid paying for services rendered. However, U.S. Penal Law Article 165.15 also states that theft of services includes several other aspects such as receiving but not paying for services in the following scenarios:
- Permitting computer services, including Internet access, but avoiding payment for using the aforementioned services;
- Entitling entry to any concert hall, theater, sporting arena, or other sports-related facilities without paying for entry;
- Diverting electricity, steam service, or gas service away from a meter so that the device fails to register charges or tampering with the devices designed to supply these utilities;
- With intent to avoid payment related to the usage of a telephone;
- At a motel, hotel, restaurant, or any other lodging or food service establishment by refusing to pay or leaving the establishment without paying;
- Through the use of a debit card or credit card that the individual knows is stolen;
- By using a taxi, bus, subway, railroad, or any other form of public transportation and refusing to pay or by tampering with meters or other devices used for entering the system or logging services rendered;
- By using any service that is measured and calculated by a meter or by tampering with and disarming the meter so that it operates without the providers consent, resulting in nonpayment for the utilities.
The severity of a theft of services charge can range from a Class A Misdemeanor to a Class E Felony, depending on the amount of money involved. In addition, it is important to note that a second theft of services offense committed within five years of the initial theft of services offense will result in an indictment and felony charge.
Aggressive, Seasoned Defense Team Representing Individuals Charged with Theft of Services
The foundation of our firm’s reputation is our ability to provide our clients with an objective, knowledgeable perspective on the expected outcome should a theft of services case head to trial. Knowing ahead of time is imperative in assisting our clients to determine whether it is in their best interest to accept a plea bargain offered by the prosecution.
Due to our firm’s extensive experience, our attorneys understand legal precedent and have the ability to apply it in ways that other individuals could not if they were to represent themselves. For instance, an individual might be accused of theft of services based on an “unreasonable search and seizure,” but knowing what exactly is involved in this situation requires familiarity with several federal and state appellate court opinions.
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The Brown Firm PLLC offers proactive, rigorous criminal defense against alleged theft of services charges. Call our offices or, send us a message online to set up a legal consultation to discuss your case.