Today's topic of discussion concerns the crime of theft of services.
Now let's take for example, you go to your local auto mechanic. He fixes your car. You don't like the job that he did, so you drive off without paying. Now, some people may think that that's not a crime, that you're entitled to do that. However, it is in fact a crime called “theft of services”; and it's a serious crime. As a Class E Misdemeanor, it's the least serious of all crimes. However, having a criminal conviction on your record is serious and you should be treating this charge seriously.
There may be circumstances as to why you didn't pay for the service. Perhaps the person providing the service didn't do what they promised to do or perhaps they did a poor job. While these may not be proper legal defenses, they are extenuating circumstances that could explain your position to the DA with the help of a qualified criminal defense attorney or if need be, to a jury.
Always keep in mind that just because you've been charged with a crime, such as a crime of theft, that doesn't mean you'll end up with a conviction. Keep in mind that a single conviction for theft can lead to a future felony charge if you begin to accumulate theft convictions. So, if you have two minor thefts in your background, perhaps you have two shoplifting charges in your background, and then you get hit with a misdemeanor theft of services, that misdemeanor theft of services could be boosted to a felony offense.
It's so very important to keep your criminal record clean. If you have encountered law enforcement and you think you're going to be charged with a crime, don't say anything. Ask to speak with a criminal defense attorney, pick up the phone and call my office. I look forward to speaking with you soon. Thank you.