Articles Posted in Service Theft

Published on:

Usually an offense perpetrated in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and other New York City locations, Theft of Services (New York Penal Law 165.15) is a crime that often results in a Desk Appearance Ticket (DAT) type arrest. While far from a felony crime, arrests for NY PL 165.15 are not without collateral and direct consequences. In fact, it is usually those people who have most at stake or those most in danger of bearing the brunt of those penalties are the individuals who are arrested. While a review of the Theft of Services statute, consequences of the crime and DAT process is available through the links peppered throughout this blog entry, the purpose of this entry is to address a recent Brooklyn Court decision relevant to the defense of NY PL 165.15.

Before proceeding, whether you received a New York City Desk Appearance Ticket for Theft of Services or you spent a night in jail waiting to see a judge, the crime of NY PL 165.15 is the same. That is, if you intentionally avoid or attempt to avoid paying for subway / public transportation by deception, stealth or some other method and you actually obtain or attempt to obtain the particular service, you are guilty of this misdemeanor crime. Collateral consequences to immigration or careers in finance aside, Theft of services is punishable by no more than one year in jail.

Continue reading

Published on:

One may assume that failure to pay a bar tab automatically violates New York Penal Law 165.15. In fact, Theft of Services – a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail – is often the crime charged in such cases when an individual is arrested for failing to pay their bill at a bar, pub or tavern. In its eleven distinct subsections, Theft of Services defines the numerous New York crimes involving service theft throughout the boroughs of New York City including Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens. The question remains, however. Is failure to pay a bar bill a violation of NY PL 165.15?

The most commonly charged subsection of Theft Services that criminal lawyers in New York handle are violations of NY PL 165.15(2). This subsections establishes that you are guilty of this misdemeanor crime when you not merely avoid paying for a restaurant service that you received, but that this avoidance is intentional. The law even establishes that you are presumed to have intended to not pay for theses services if you do not pay for the same. In short, if you skip out on a restaurant or hotel bill you may be guilty of NY PL 165.15(2). While officers can take the accused into custody (usually spending up to one night in jail), they frequently issue a Desk Appearance Ticket (DAT) for NY PL 165.15, which requires the defendant to return to court on another date without going through central booking.

Continue reading