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Theft of Services

Theft of service occurs when a person receives a specialized service and fails to pay for the service after agreeing to. This can occur through deception, force or some other form of unlawful means. Generally, theft of services is considered a misdemeanor. The severity of the crime is generally determined by the value of the services that were obtained. Below are just a few of the more commonly asked theft of service questions that have been answered by Experts.

Should an individual be concerned if they were recently charged with Theft of Services because their card did not work to pay for a taxi?

In order to prove theft of services, the state will have to prove that you had intentions of cheating the taxi driver of the cab fare. However, the way you handled the situation will weigh heavy on how the judge will view your actions. If you handled the credit card to the driver then suddenly fled, the judge could find this action as theft. If you tried to use another person's card, there would be evidence of theft. If your card didn't work when the cab driver ran it but you had him take you to an ATM and you paid the fare, this wouldn't be considered theft.

When you go to court, the judge will ask for a plea, do not plead guilty. Try to speak to an attorney before the court date. If you can't afford to pay an attorney, ask the court to provide one. You may be able to have the case dismissed at the arraignment, if not, you will need an attorney to represent you and help you make the right choices.

In the state of GA if an individual has unpaid theft of services claim for providing consulting services, if the individual has not received any answers from the defendant stating any problems what recourse does the individual have?

This could be a case of theft of services; however, the prosecutor will probably tell you to take the case to civil court because this would be considered a civil breach of contract claim. Your recourse would be to sue the defendant in civil court for the money owed to you. Georgia small claims court allows suits up to the amount of $15,000. When going through the small claims court, there is no need for an attorney but you will have to file the claim and appear in court. You will need to file in the county where the defendant is located. You can contact the clerk of the small claims court for the appropriate forms to file suit and summon the defendant to court.

Can an individual charge someone with theft of services if they are owned money?

Law enforcement can charge an individual for a crime but a civilian cannot. In order to have charges brought against a person for theft of services, you will need to make a theft report with the police department. Generally, unpaid bills are a matter for the civil court to deal with. While you can make a theft report, usually the police will tell you that this is a civil matter and you will have to file a claim with the civil court. Small claims court would probably be the best option for your situation. The statute of limitations is generally 4-6 years from the last payment that was made for the debt or the last date that you performed a service.

If an individual is being threatened with theft of service for stopping a payment for a mechanic service that wasn’t done properly what should the individual do and can the individual be arrested for this?

There is a possibility that you could be charged if the mechanic files criminal charges. If the person does file, the case will go to the prosecutor who will determine if there is enough evidence to build a case. If the case goes to court, you will have your chance to defend your actions. You will need to gather all information and evidence that pertains to the case and take it to court. All of the facts of the case will be viewed and taken into consideration. If the prosecutor doesn't go forward with the case, the mechanic will have to file in small claims court.

Can I call the sheriff's department and make a theft of services report if a customer leaves without paying their slip rental fees at a marina?

This situation is more of a breach of contract rather than a theft of service. You can sue the customer for breach of contract but at this point, there hasn't been a criminal act committed. If the law viewed acts such as this theft, the jails would be full of people who failed to pay their rent or a night stay in a motel. This is a civil matter and can be dealt with in small claims court.

Theft of services can occur in many situations. Most theft of service situations are civil matter, however, some cases are considered criminal matters. If you are dealing with theft of services or just have questions, you should ask an Expert for informative answers.
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