What Is Theft Of Services?

What Is Theft Of Services

Theft of services occurs when an offender fails to pay for services (such as a meal or hotel room rather than a good or material – like a car or stereo). Sneaking into paid events is also considered theft of services.

Degree of Crime

Depending on the facts, theft of services can be charged as a 2nd degree felony, 3rd degree felony, class A misdemeanor or class B misdemeanor.

Elements of Theft

A defendant commits a 2nd degree felony theft of services when they obtain services which they know are available only for compensation by deception, threat, force, or any other means designed to avoid the due payment for them and
• the value of the services stolen is or exceeds $5,000;
• or the defendant was armed with a dangerous weapon at the time of the theft.
A defendant commits a 3rd degree felony theft of services when they obtain services which they know are available only for compensation by deception, threat, force, or any other means designed to avoid the due payment for them and
• the value of the services stolen exceeds $1,500 but is less than $5,000;
• the defendant has been twice before convicted of: attempted theft; theft; any robbery; any attempted robbery; any burglary with intent to commit theft; any attempted burglary with intent to commit theft; any offense under Utah Code 76-6 5, Fraud; or any attempt to commit an offense under Utah Code 76-6-5, Fraud.

A defendant commits a class A misdemeanor theft of services when they obtain services which they know are available only for compensation by deception, threat, force, or any other means designed to avoid the due payment for them and the value of the services stolen is or exceeds $500 but is less than $1,500. A defendant commits a class B misdemeanor theft of services when they obtain services which they know are available only for compensation by deception, threat, force, or any other means designed to avoid the due payment for them and the value of the services stolen is less than $500.

Fine
• 2nd degree felony: A fine not to exceed $10,000, plus a 90% surcharge.
• 3rd degree felony: A fine not to exceed $5,000, plus a 90% surcharge.
• Class A misdemeanor: A fine not to exceed $2,500, plus a 90% surcharge.
• Class B misdemeanor: A fine not to exceed $1,000, plus a 90% surcharge.
Restitution
The court may order the accused to pay restitution if convicted of this crime.

Imprisonment For Crime

• 2nd degree felony: A term of imprisonment not less than 1 year nor more than 15 years.
• 3rd degree felony: A term of imprisonment not to exceed 5 years.
• Class A misdemeanor: A term in jail not to exceed 1 year.
• Class B misdemeanor: A term in jail not to exceed 6 months.

DNA Specimen Analysis

A defendant convicted of a class A misdemeanor, 2nd or 3rd degree felony theft of services must provide a DNA specimen.

How theft of services charges work

As far as fines and imprisonment are concerned, Utah law makes no distinction between theft of services and theft of tangible property. The severity of the offense generally depends on the value of the property or services appropriated. However, some aggravating factors may apply as well:
• Less than $500 — Class B misdemeanor
• Between $500 and $1,499 — Class A misdemeanor
• Between $1,500 and $4,999 — third-degree felony
• Over $5,000 — second-degree felony
Theft of services can take many forms, including seemingly innocuous ones such as stealing cable television or other utilities. Even possessing or distributing devices used to steal services is a separate and distinct crime. And those convicted may face additional civil liability for restitution in addition to the fines and other penalties received in the criminal case. There are many approaches our attorneys can take to defending clients against these types of charges. Because they can sometimes be more difficult to prove than comparable charges for theft of tangible property, a skilled defense attorney has more leverage in negotiating with prosecutors and more bases for forming persuasive arguments should the case ultimately go to trial.

Having former prosecutors on our staff, the team at our law firm has access to a wealth of practical knowledge about how prosecutors function. This enables us to negotiate on behalf of our clients and resolve their cases more efficiently. Theft in Utah occurs whenever a person “obtains or exercises unauthorized control over the property of another with a purpose to deprive him thereof.” These are the basic elements every prosecutor needs to prove beyond a reasonable doubt in order to convict a person of this crime. Although this is the general law regarding, there are laws in Utah prohibiting specific types of stealing. These specific types include the following:
• Wrongful appropriation
• Theft of motor vehicle fuel
• Theft by deception
• Extortion (blackmail)
• Theft of lost, mislaid, or mistakenly delivered property
• Theft of services
• Theft of utility or cable television services
• Theft of rental vehicle
• Retail Theft
• Receiving stolen property
There is even a law that prohibits a person from releasing a fur-bearing animal raised for commercial purposes without permission of the owner. This would mean an animal activist could be charged if he tried releasing mink from a mink farm. This type of stealing is a third degree felony and punishable by up to 5 years in prison. Utah laws do not take lightly this crime.

Levels of theft

The level of criminal offense for stealing in Utah varies from a class B misdemeanor, such as in the case of a first time shoplifting offense, to a second degree felony. In determining what level of offense to charge someone, a prosecutor is governed by factors given by Utah law. The most serious offense, a second degree felony, is that level because the property stolen was valued at or more than $5,000, the property was a firearm or motor vehicle, the property is stolen from the person or another, or the theft was committed by someone using a dangerous weapon. The level of offense is primarily based upon the value of the property taken but other factors exist. We can explain all the factors used to determine whether a theft is a felony or a misdemeanor. Theft in Utah can also be enhanced to a higher level of offense if a person was convicted previously of theft in a 10 year period or 5 year period depending on the circumstances of the case. Under Utah law, a person commits theft if he “obtains or exercises unauthorized control over the property of another with a purpose to deprive him thereof.”. Theft means that a person unlawfully takes someone else’s property with the intent to keep it for some period of time or not return it to the rightful owner. Utah criminal statutes also contain a number of other specific types of theft offenses including theft by extortion, theft of lost, mislaid, or mistakenly delivered property, and receiving stolen property.

A conviction for any type of theft charge, even a misdemeanor, is considered a “crime of dishonesty.” A conviction for a “crime of dishonesty” comes with a lifetime of consequences that last long after the criminal case is resolved in court.

Theft Crimes in Utah

Utah law provides for a wide variety of theft crimes including:
• Theft
• Retail Theft
• Theft by Deception
• Attempt
• Wrongful Appropriation
• Theft of motor vehicle fuel
• Theft by Extortion
• Receiving Stolen Property
• Theft of lost, mislaid, or mistakenly delivered property
• Theft of Services
• Theft of Utility or Cable Television Services
• Theft by Person Having Custody of Property Pursuant to Repair
• Theft of a rental vehicle

Penalties for Theft

• Class B Misdemeanor Theft: Theft of property or services valued at less than $500 is usually charged as a class B misdemeanor in Utah. The punishment for a class B misdemeanor in Utah includes imprisonment for a term of no more than six months and a fine of no more than $1,000. Most shoplifting or retail theft offenses in Utah are charged as a class B misdemeanor when the value of the property stolen is less than $500.

• Class A Misdemeanor Theft: Theft of property or services valued at more than $500 but less than $1,500 is usually charged as a class A misdemeanor in Utah. The punishment for a class A misdemeanor in Utah includes imprisonment for not more than one year and a fine of not more than $2,500.

• Third-Degree Felony Theft: Theft of property or services valued at more than $1,500 but less than $5,000 is usually charged as a third-degree felony in Utah.

Also, theft can be charged as a third-degree felony in Utah if, within the past 10 years, the offender has twice been convicted of any kind of actual or attempted theft, robbery, fraud, or burglary with intent to commit theft. The punishment for a third-degree felony in Utah includes imprisonment for a term of not more than five years and a fine not to exceed $5,000.
• Second-Degree Felony Theft: Theft of property or services valued at more than $5,000 is usually charged as a second-degree felony in Utah. Other theft offenses classified as a second-degree felony in Utah, regardless of the value of the property stolen, include theft of a firearm or motor vehicle, and any theft committed while the offender is armed with a weapon. The punishment for a second-degree felony in Utah includes imprisonment for a term of not more than 15 years and a fine of not more than $10,000.

Theft is a very serious crime in Utah that carries stiff penalties. A theft conviction is one where charges can be added onto each other, which means that multiple convictions of even minor offenses can become very serious, as multiple charges means multiple sentences. A person commits theft if he obtains or exercises unauthorized control over the property of another with a purpose to deprive him thereof. There must be evidence to support the accusation made by the police. This evidence often does not meet the standard laid out in the law.

Conduct denominated theft in this part constitutes a single offense embracing the separate offenses such as those heretofore known as larceny, larceny by trick, larceny by bailers, embezzlement, false pretense, extortion, blackmail, receiving stolen property. An accusation of theft may be supported by evidence that it was committed in any manner specified, subject to the power of the court to ensure a fair trial by granting a continuance or other appropriate relief where the conduct of the defense would be prejudiced by lack of fair notice or by surprise.

Theft Lawyer Free Consultation

When you need to defend yourself against theft charges in Utah, please call Ascent Law LLC for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
itemprop=”addressLocality”>West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Ascent Law LLC

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