Theft of Service in The State of Texas

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A person commits the offense of theft of service if, with intent to avoid payment for service that the actor knows is provided only for compensation:

(1) the actor intentionally or knowingly secures performance of the service by deception, threat, or false token;

(2) having control over the disposition of services of another to which the actor is not entitled, the actor intentionally or knowingly diverts the other's services to the actor's own benefit or to the benefit of another not entitled to the services;

(3) having control of personal property under a written rental agreement, the actor holds the property beyond the expiration of the rental period without the effective consent of the owner of the property, thereby depriving the owner of the property of its use in further rentals; or

(4) the actor intentionally or knowingly secures the performance of the service by agreeing to provide compensation and, after the service is rendered, fails to make full payment after receiving notice demanding payment.

Broadly speaking, “theft of service” is avoiding paying an individual who has provided a service or amenity to you where there was an agreement that they would receive money. You may be accused of theft of service if you attempt to obtain the services of another individual through illegal actions including verbal/written threats, physical force, or entering into a contractual agreement with no intention of paying the other individual for their services. A theft conviction on your background can have devastating effects on your ability to secure future employment or housing because it is a crime of moral turpitude.

If you or someone you know has been accused of theft of service, we can help. Jason Trumpler has over 15-years of criminal law experience and has successfully gotten hundreds of clients’ charges reduced or dismissed. Call our office today at (512) 359-3300 to schedule a free consultation.

Potential Consequences

Intent to avoid payment is presumed if you leave without paying for a service when payment is normally presumed due (such as paying for a hotel room at checkout). Additionally, you may be accused of theft of service if you fail to make a payment within 10-days after receiving notice demanding payment, or if you fail to return property held under a rental agreement.

If you are convicted of the crime of theft of service, the potential consequences vary based on the value of the service:

• Less than $100: Class C misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $500. • More than $100 but less than $750: Class B misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $2,000 and/or 6-months in jail.
• $750 or more but less than $2,500: Class A misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $4,000 and/or up to 1-year in prison.
• $2,500 or more but less than $30,000: State jail felony punishable by a fine of up to $10,000 and/or 6-months – 2-years in prison.
• $30,000 or more but less than $150,000: 3rd degree felony punishable by a fine of up to $10,000 and/or 2 – 10-years in prison.
• $150,000 or more but less than $300,000: 2nd degree felony punishable by a fine of up to $10,000 and/or 2 – 20-years in prison.
• $300,000 or more: 1st degree felony punishable by a fine of up to $10,000 and/or 5 – 99-years in prison.

A theft conviction can have devastating consequences in regards to your livelihood. If you or someone you know has been accused of the crime of theft of service, an experienced criminal defense attorney can help.

Contact Us Today at (512) 359-3300

Jason Trumpler will examine the details of your case and will fight for the best possible outcome. Jason Trumpler currently practices law in Central Texas counties including Travis, Williamson, Bell, Bastrop, and Hays. Contact our office today at (512) 359-3300.

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