The general definition of theft of services is obtaining services provided by someone else via unlawful means. For example, a person can threaten or use force to obtain these services. A person is also guilty of theft of service when they knowingly enter into an agreement for services and have no intent to pay.
What Is the Legal Definition of Theft of Services in Georgia?
Theft of services is the crime of deceiving another individual to obtain a service, use of personal property, accommodation, or entertainment with the intent to avoid payment for the services obtained. The person then avoids paying for services such as:
- An overnight stay in a hotel room
- Use of a rental car
- Repair services
- Maid services
Is Theft of Services a Misdemeanor of a Felony?
Whether the crime of theft of services is a felony depends on the value of the services that were stolen. The crime is a misdemeanor if the value of the stolen services is $1,500 or less. Otherwise, the crime is a felony.
Is Theft of Services Crime Similar to Theft by Conversion in Georgia?
No. Theft by conversion is lawfully obtaining possession of another individual’s personal property or money. Once the person legally obtains it, they convert the property into a different form for their own use.
What Are Possible Defenses to Theft of Services?
The availability of specific defenses in a particular case depends on the facts of that case. Common theft of services defenses include:
- The person actually paid for the services used
- The person was legally entitled to the services, but there was an innocent mix up in their personal information needed for proper billing, such as their banking account information or name
- The person was forced to commit the theft of service crime because they were being threatened with harm, which is known as coercion
What Is the Punishment for Misdemeanor Theft of Services in Georgia?
If the theft of services crime is a misdemeanor, then the punishment is up to 12 months in county jail and a $1,000 fine.
Should I Contact a Lawyer Regarding My Theft of Services Charge?
It is always advisable to retain legal representation whenever you are charged with committing theft of services. Immediately contact a Georgia criminal lawyer to learn more about possible defenses you can use to fight this charge.