When it comes to
theft-related offenses under Title 7, Chapter 31 of the Texas Penal Code, not all theft
crimes have to involve actual physical “property.” In Texas,
you can get slapped with criminal charges if you take advantage of someone’s
services, and refuse to pay for them.
Under Section 31.04 of the Texas Penal Code, a person commits the offense
of “theft of service” if he or she intentionally receives
a service but fails to pay for it. People often commit the offense of
theft of service after receiving services from the following types of establishments:
- Nail salons
- Massage businesses
- Recreational vehicle parks
- And many more
While theft of service can occur at a variety of establishments, people
often associate this crime with restaurants. You’ve probably heard
the terms “dine and dash” or “dine and ditch”
or “eat and run.” These all refer to dining and skipping out
before paying the bill, usually while the server has their back turned.
In Texas, theft of services can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony
depending on the
value of services delivered, but not paid for.
For example, not paying for a $75.00 dinner would be a
Class C misdemeanor, punishable by a fine not to exceed $500, or a Class B misdemeanor
if the value of the services ranged between $100 and $750.
Under Title 3, Chapter 12 of the
Texas Penal Code, a
Class B misdemeanor is punishable by a fine not to exceed $2,000, or up to 6 months
in jail, or both.
On the other hand, if a woman spends an entire day at a posh salon or spa
and she slips out before paying the $800 tab, she faces
Class A misdemeanor charges, punishable by up to a $4,000 fine and up to one year
in jail, or both.
Are you facing criminal charges?
As we demonstrated above, theft of services can have serious consequences,
especially if the value of the services exceeds $750. If you are being
accused of stealing services, we urge you to
The Zendeh Del Law Firm, PLLC to schedule a consultation with an
experienced Plano criminal defense attorney!