Law Office of Brent R. Hardy

Theft of Service


In Texas, you can be criminally charged with theft of service if, with the intent to avoid payment, you obtain a service by means of threat or deception. Theft of service charges can also arise if you agree to make payment in exchange for a service, and then refuse to pay for the service once it's rendered. Another common situation in which individuals are charged with theft of service is when they rent something, and keep it beyond the agreed rental period.

Theft of Service Law in Texas:

Texas Penal Code Section 31.04: Theft of Services
Theft of Service Punishment in Texas

The penalties or punishment for theft of service is usually determined by the alleged value of the service rendered and whether the defendant has any prior theft convictions. Under Texas law, theft of service can be classified as either a misdemeanor or felony.

Below is a basic guide of how the State of Texas categorizes the level of the theft offense and the punishment you face if charged with theft of services.    
       1.  he intentionally or knowingly secures performance of the service by deception, threat, or false token;

       2.    having control over the disposition of services of another to which he is not entitled, he intentionally or knowingly diverts the other's services to his own benefit or to the benefit of another not entitled to them;

       3.    having control of personal property under a written rental agreement, he holds the property beyond the expiration of the rental period without the effective consent of the owner of the property, thereby depriving the owner of the property of its use in further rentals; or

       4.    he intentionally or knowingly secures the performance of the service by agreeing to provide compensation and, after the service is rendered, fails to make payment after receiving notice demanding payment.


If you have been charged with theft or service or any type of theft crime in South Texas, contact us at (210) 415-6662 to discuss your options. A good criminal defense attorney will work hard to protect your criminal record and advise you as to how best to proceed.


The information on this website is for general information only. Nothing on this or associated pages, documents, comments, answers, emails, or other communications should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation.  The information on this website is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing of this information does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. 
Theft of Service is considered a Class C Misdemeanor if the value of the services stolen is worth $20 or less. Class C Misdemeanor crimes are punishable by a fine up to $500.     

Theft of Service is considered a Class B Misdemeanor if the value of the services stolen is more than $50 but less than $500. Class B Misdemeanor crimes are punishable by a fine up to 180 days in jail and/or a fine up to $2,000.     

Theft of Service is considered a Class A Misdemeanor if the value of the services stolen is $500 or more but less than $1,500. Class A Misdemeanor crimes are punishable by a up to 180 days in jail and/or a fine up to $4,000.  

Theft of Service is considered a State Jail Felony if the value of the services stolen is $1,500 or more but less than $20,000. A State Jail Felony is punishable by 180 days to two years in state jail and/or a fine up to $10,000.     

​Theft of Service is considered a Third Degree Felony if the value of the services stolen is $20,000 or more but less than $100,000. A Third Degree Felony is punishable by two to 10 years in prison and/or up to a fine up to $10,000.     

Theft of Service is considered a Second Degree Felony if the value of the services stolen is $100,000 or more but less than $200,000. A Second Degree Felony is punishable by two to 20 years in prison and/or a fine up to $10,000.     

Theft of Service is considered a First Degree Felony if the value of the services stolen is more than $200,000. A First Degree Felony is punishable by five to 99 years in prison or life  imprisonment and/or up to a fine up to $10,000.