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Larceny as Theft of Services

by Joseph C. Maya on Aug. 11, 2017

Criminal Criminal  Misdemeanor 

Summary: A blog post about theft of services in Connecticut.

For a free consultation with an experienced criminal defense attorney, please call the offices of Maya Murphy, P.C. today at (203) 221-3100 or Joseph C. Maya, Esq. at JMaya@Mayalaw.com.

Connecticut law defines larceny as occurring when a person wrongfully takes, obtains, or withholds the property of another, with the intent to permanently deprive the owner of the property, or to appropriate it to a third person. (Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 53a-119).  Under Connecticut’s criminal statutes on larceny, the grade of the offense ranges from larceny in the first degree, the larceny in the sixth degree, from most to least severe in terms of penalties.
The grade that a Defendant may be charged with generally depends upon the aggregate value of the property taken.

While the general public may understand the simple elements of larceny, in that an individual may not take something that does not belong to them, one of the most misunderstood categories of larceny, which many individuals do not even consider criminal, is theft of services.

A person is guilty of theft of services when, with intent to avoid payment for restaurant services rendered, or for services rendered to him or her as a transient guest at a hotel, motel, inn, tourist cabin, rooming house or comparable establishment, an individual avoids such payment by unjustifiable failure or refusal to pay, by stealth, or by any misrepresentation of fact which he knows to be false.  (C.G.S. §53-119(7)).

Further, an additional type of theft of service may be committed by an individual if, with an intent to obtain railroad, subway, bus, air, taxi or any other public transportation service without payment of the lawful charge therefor, or to avoid payment of the lawful charge for such transportation service which has been rendered to him or her, the individual obtains such service or avoids payment by force, intimidation, stealth, deception or mechanical tampering, or by unjustifiable failure or refusal to pay. (C.G.S. §53-119(7)).

Instances of theft of service are typical when an individual receives poor food or services at a restaurant or other vendor, and does not feel that the establishment has provided services which justify payment, or when an individual does not have the appropriate funds for public transportation.  Even though the individual has not taken anything tangible from the victim, he or she has still obtained the benefit of services for which the provider has not been compensated, which constitutes theft of services, or larceny under the law.

If you have been charged with a larceny related offense, contact the experienced criminal law attorneys today at 203-221-3100, or by email at JMaya@mayalaw.com.  We have the experience and knowledge you need at this critical juncture. We serve clients throughout Connecticut and all of Fairfield County, from Greenwich and Stamford to Westport and Bridgeport.


Source: C.G.S. Â§ 53a-119

C.G.S. Â§ 53-119(7)

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