A roofer in North Texas faces felony theft charges because law enforcement alleges that the man stole tens of thousands of dollars from homeowners. The roofer in question was arrested by Corinth Police in June on charges of theft of property. Initial claims about the roofer’s conduct, however, began in February when homeowners began to contact Consumer Justice about the roof. There were also six lawsuits initiated against the roofer in 2016. One woman reports paying the roofer’s company $4,000 in 2016 to fix the woman’s home. The woman reports that the roofer stopped contacting the woman and disappeared. The roofer’s legal counsel has responded to these claims that the roofer failed to perform paid for services that customers were asking for repairs that were not covered by the roofer’s insurance. The roofer was most recently released from the Denton County jail on a $5,000 bond. Law enforcement is advising individuals in Corinth or Shady Shores who hired the roofer to contact the authorities.
Understanding the Elements of a Felony Theft Charge
There are several types of theft charges including unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, theft by check, tag changing, shoplifting, home burglary, grand theft auto, forging or altering a prescription, forgery charges, credit card fraud, burglary of a business, burglary of a building, and burglary of an automobile. This case, however, concerns theft of service which is defined under Penal Code Section 31.04. Theft of services includes much more than individuals who fail to pay for a service and include several other types of acts.
To convict a person of theft of service, prosecution for the state of Texas must prove that a person acted with the intent to avoid payment for service and one of several applicable scenarios. These scenarios include:
- Diverting the benefit of services to a person who is not entitled to receives these benefits.
- Holding rental property past the allotted rental period.
- Securing performance of services by agreeing to provide services and then failing to pay the party who provided services.
- Using false token, deception, or threat to intentionally or knowingly secure services.
Law enforcement has significant discretion in deciding how to pursue theft of service charges. These charges can include anything from class c misdemeanors to first-degree felonies depending on the amount of goods that were stolen. Theft of services is classified as a felony when the value of the property stolen is greater in value than $1,500. Punishment for these felonies includes at least 180 days in prison as well as significant fines.
Obtain the Assistance of a Skilled Texas Criminal Defense Lawyer
Being charged with a felony theft offense is a serious charge that requires the assistance of a skilled attorney. If you find yourself in such a situation, do not hesitate to contact the Wheeler Law Office today. Our legal counsel understands how these charges are made and will fight to make sure that you receive the best defense possible.
(image courtesy of Andreas Weiland)