PC 498(b), (d)

PC 498(b), (d)

Offense

Obtaining utility services without intent to pay

Aggravated Felony (AF)

Might be charged as an AF, so get 364 or less on each count and avoid if loss exceeds $10k but see Advice for defenses.

Crime Involving Moral Turpitude (CIMT)

Assume a CIMT as an unlawful taking with intent to deprive permanently

Other Removal Grounds

No other removal ground

Advice and Comments

AF as theft if 1 year imposed: Arguably theft of utility services does not meet the generic definition of theft in the Ninth Circuit, which is a taking of property, not of services.1The Ninth Circuit has long held that theft of labor or services does not meet the generic definition of “theft.” Theft requires a taking of property. See, e.g., Lopez-Valencia v. Lynch, 798 F.3d 863, 869 (9th Cir. 2015) (noting that “a defendant may be convicted of ‘theft’ if six jurors believe that he committed larceny (which is a form of theft that meets the federal generic definition) and six jurors believe that he committed theft of labor (which is not).”). But try to avoid the issue by getting 364 or less on each count, or else see PC 487.

AF as deceit with loss exceeding $10k. Arguably this is not deceit (a taking with consent) but is theft (a taking without consent, by stealth). But best practice if loss exceeds $10k is to avoid the risk and consider PC 487.

2020-05-19T19:00:22+00:00Updated January 29th, 2020|