What does theft of services mean under New York law?

On Behalf of | May 8, 2022 | criminal defense

Do you know what the phrase “dine and dash” means? It involves enjoying a meal at a restaurant and then leaving your dinner bill unpaid. You might not know this, but it is a criminal offense known as the theft of services.

Leaving a restaurant bill unpaid is not the only way theft of services occurs. The offense covers an array of unlawful actions that deprive others of their due compensation. Many people view activities involving the theft of services as little more than pranks, but you could face legal consequences if caught and convicted.

More examples of theft of services

The theft of service can involve many actions and types of businesses. Under New York law, you may face such charges if you knowingly:

  • Leave a hotel without paying for the room you used
  • Fail to pay after receiving salon services (haircuts, facials, etc.)
  • Exit a taxi or other paid transport without paying
  • Fail to pay for cable television services
  • Gain entrance into a theater or cinema without buying a ticket
  • Obtain utility services (water, gas, etc.) without paying for them
  • Tamper with a telecommunications device that measures charges and services
  • Acquire commercial gain through the labor of a company or individual without their consent
  • Receive cable or television services with the use of a stolen or made-up identification or name

The examples above are only a few ways you could face theft of service charges. Most service theft offenses are misdemeanors. However, if the services received were of great value, felony charges may apply.

You can avoid the harshest consequences of a service theft charge by building a solid criminal defense. The first step is to become more familiar with this and other theft charges.