Paying for goods and services fairly supports the backbone of our society here in Texas and in the United States at large. We know that shoplifting goods is a serious crime punishable by fines and imprisonment – but what about stealing services, like cable installation or landscaping work?
Just like theft of goods, Texas law treats theft of services as a serious crime to protect the interests of businesses and workers throughout the state. If you have recently been arrested for stealing, contact a Houston shoplifting lawyer today.
Texas state law defines theft of services as obtaining services from another person by engaging in unlawful practices without the intent to pay for the services. Forcing someone to provide services, threatening someone if he or she does not provide services, or using deception to obtain services can all constitute theft of services. Using counterfeit money to pay for the services also falls under this category.
Dining and dashing, or eating at a restaurant and leaving without paying, is a common form of this crime. Fare evasion on public transportation and failing to pay for a hotel room are other examples. In addition, if someone asks for cable or Wi-Fi installation and fails to pay the contractor or company, he or she can face charges for theft of services.
Texas considers theft of services a serious felony or misdemeanor and could impose severe penalties on a person accused of the crime, from jail time to fines. The punishment someone accused of theft of services could face depends on the severity of the crimes and the value of the services stolen.
If someone stole services for you and you want to file for theft of services in the state of Texas, you will first need to contact an attorney who can assist you with your claim. He or she will know how to file the complaint on your behalf and advise you on how to move forward with your case.
If the value of the services stolen constitutes a felony charge, contact law enforcement officials. Since the amount is so high, the crime is serious, and the police can help you press charges. If the value of the services stolen constitutes a misdemeanor, you can file a lawsuit in small case court. Collect as much evidence as you can before you begin either of these processes.
If you are facing charges for theft of services in Texas, you need an attorney on your side to represent your best interests. Obtaining the services of a criminal defense attorney in Houston could lead to an increased chance of obtaining a favorable outcome. As soon as you are able, contact an attorney after your arrest.