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soloprac, Criminal Defense Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 664
Experience:  Five years exclusive court house criminal law practice.
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I forgot to pay my bill accidentally at a restaurant last ...

Customer Question

I forgot to pay my bill accidentally at a restaurant last night when my friend got sick and had a message on my phone that I had been charged with distress of services! What can I do
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  soloprac replied 8 years ago.


I would contact the restaurant immediately and ask to speak with the manager. I would then tell him all of the details surrounding the events of last night. Also explain that this is not something that you normally do and apologize for the misunderstanding. This should be enough to clear everything up. Please do not wait to do this though as it will probably only make the situation worse. Also explain that your delay was due to fear as this has never happenned to you before.

I hope this was helpful and informative.



soloprac and 2 other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Reply to soloprac's Post: The lady at the police department told me that the report that was filed is in investigation and was not at a prosecuter. Am I going to be charged with something?! I have already spoke with the manager on duty but she told me that I needed to speak with the General Manager-who is out untill Monday and of course the police officer is not on duty until 11pm tonight! I have already left a message on his cell phone as well.......... Can I do anything else?
Expert:  soloprac replied 8 years ago.

You have taken all of the right steps. Just because they are investigating the matter does not mean that you are going to be charged. Let these people speak to each other and just cooperate should they need any other information from you.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
If I am charged what will happen? We hadn't even received all of our food. We both had a soda and a salad, and left before our food arrived. I would guess the total bill would be around $30
Expert:  soloprac replied 8 years ago.

Let me start off by saying this - I don't believe that this is the sort of matter the police really want to concern themselves with, especially for $30. However, if you were charged I would offer to make full restitution plus any kind of fine they might have in mind to resolve the matter.


Customer: replied 8 years ago.
What are the laws regarding this? I am very scared. This is something I could lose my job over. Would I go to jail?
Expert:  soloprac replied 8 years ago.
What state is this in? Let me take a look at the Crimes Code for this offense.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
North Dakota
Expert:  soloprac replied 8 years ago.
I looked into the Model Penal Code and it says that there is a presumption, especially in a situation at a restaurant when there is nonpayment and services have been rendered that a theft of services have occured. However, that does not mean that this presumption is not rebuttable.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
what does that mean
Expert:  soloprac replied 8 years ago.

Sorry if that was not clear. I will give you the exact language :

Where compensation for services is ordinarily paid immediately upon their rendition, as in the case of hotels, restaurants, and comparable establishments, absconding without payment or making payment is prima facie evidence that the services were obtained by deception.

What this means is where food is served and a person leaves without paying there it is presumed that you intended to commit a theft of services. Really, this is just a presumption though and you can prove them wrong, especially in your case.