In the Bronx, Theft of Services [PL 165.15] is an everyday occurrence for which police make arrests. Theft of services can include a wide group of offenses that are Class A misdemeanors in which the suspect is accused of intentionally not paying for services received, or intended not to pay for them. If you have been accused of committing a Theft of Service offense and have been issued a desk appearance ticket or have been arrested, you can be hit with heavy fines and even jail time.
Theft of Services or so-called “Passive Theft” crimes are particularly difficult for small and independent businesses to absorb, and New York law enforcement agencies are dolling out stiff penalties to violators.
Billions of dollars are lost annually to Theft of Services crimes against hotels, taverns and restaurants, and other service businesses in the Bronx and all across the U.S. Losses to the cable television industry from cable TV theft are estimated in the billions of dollars annually.
Stealing Cable television is a common offense throughout the Bronx and all of New York State. People steal cable by purchasing illegal cable boxes or tapping into their neighbor’s source. Passive cable theft occurs when someone moves into a new office or home and takes advantage of the fact that the cable is working even though no one is paying for it. If you use it without notifying the cable company first, you can be charged with theft of services.
– Leaving a hotel with an unpaid tab or “Defrauding an Innkeeper” is a Theft of Services crime for which an offender can face large fines and jail time. A person can be charged with Defrauding an Innkeeper for including a larger number of people in a hotel room than management has permitted, or incurring additional costs that are left unpaid.
– “Dine-and-dash” or “drink-and-dash” crimes, which describe violators who skip out of a restaurant or bar without paying their tab can lead to arrest or being issued a desk appearance ticket which in essence carries the same legal weight as an arrest. Businesses and police are actively pursuing these offenders and will not hesitate to press charges.
– In the Bronx, Turnstile Jumping is an everyday occurrence and strict laws are in place to combat this activity. Transit Authority officials are not hesitant when it comes to charging offenders criminally for jumping a turnstile at a train station or subway.
– Since the problem reached intolerable rates in the early 1980’s, taxi drivers who are victims of a customer who skips out on their fare, a crime known as Taxi Fare Evasion, are allowed to participate in the offender’s prosecution. Many cab drivers will go after fare runners and will not hesitate to file charges. Fare runners face jail time and stiff fines for such an offense, also known as “gaining a financial advantage by deception.”
If you face Theft of Service charges or any other criminal charges including Petit Larceny, Grand Theft, Embezzlement, Shoplifting, Credit Card Fraud or other violations, a New York Criminal Lawyer can help.
The Office of Stephen Bilkis and Associates can offer you support and guidance as well as a free consultation when you contact us at 1-800-NY-NY-LAW. We have offices in New York City, including Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, Staten Island and The Bronx and in Nassau County, Suffolk County and Westchester County.