What is the Statute of Limitation for Theft of Servcies in Pennsylvania?

Full Question:

What is the statue of limitations on theft of services in the state of Pennsylvania? (Dollar amount ranges from $1500.00 to $3000.00)
01/28/2010   |   Category: Civil Actions ยป Limitations   |   State: Pennsylvania   |   #20669

Answer:

The statute of limitations for theft of services in PA is five years.

Please see the following PA statutes:

42 Pa.C.S.A. § 5552. Other offenses

(a) General rule. — Except as otherwise provided in this subchapter, a
prosecution for an offense must be commenced within two years after it is
committed.

(b) Major offenses. — A prosecution for any of the following offenses
must be commenced within five years after it is committed:

(1) Under the following provisions of Title 18 (relating to crimes and
offenses): Section 901 (relating to criminal attempt) involving attempt
to commit murder where no murder occurs.

Section 902 (relating to criminal solicitation) involving solicitation
to commit murder where no murder occurs.

Section 903 (relating to criminal conspiracy) involving conspiracy to
commit murder where no murder occurs.

Section 911 (relating to corrupt organizations).

Section 2702 (relating to aggravated assault).

Section 2706 (relating to terroristic threats).

Section 2713 (relating to neglect of care-dependent person).

Section 2901 (relating to kidnapping).

Section 3301 (relating to arson and related offenses).

Section 3502 (relating to burglary).

Section 3701 (relating to robbery).

Section 3921 (relating to theft by unlawful taking or disposition)
through section 3933 (relating to unlawful use of computer).

Section 4101 (relating to forgery).

Section 4107 (relating to deceptive or fraudulent business practices).

Section 4108 (relating to commercial bribery and breach of duty to act
disinterestedly).

Section 4109 (relating to rigging publicly exhibited contest).

Section 4117 (relating to insurance fraud).

Section 4701 (relating to bribery in official and political matters)
through section 4703 (relating to retaliation for past official action).

Section 4902 (relating to perjury) through section 4912 (relating to
impersonating a public servant).

Section 4952 (relating to intimidation of witnesses or victims).

Section 4953 (relating to retaliation against witness, victim or
party).

Section 5101 (relating to obstructing administration of law or other
governmental function).

Section 5111 (relating to dealing in proceeds of unlawful activities).

Section 5512 (relating to lotteries, etc.) through section 5514
(relating to pool selling and bookmaking).

Section 5902(b) (relating to prostitution and related offenses).
Section 6111(g)(2) and (4) (relating to sale or transfer of firearms).

(2) Any offense punishable under section 13(f) of the act of April 14,
1972 (P.L. 233, No. 64), known as The Controlled Substance, Drug, Device
and Cosmetic Act.[fn1]

(3) Any conspiracy to commit any of the offenses set forth in
paragraphs (1) and (2) and any solicitation to commit any of the offenses
in paragraphs (1) and (2) if the solicitation results in the completed
offense.

(4) Under the act of June 13, 1967 (P.L. 31, No. 21), known as the
Public Welfare Code.[fn2]

(5) Under the act of November 24, 1998 (P.L. 874, No. 110), known as
the Motor Vehicle Chop Shop and Illegally Obtained and Altered Property
Act.[fn3]

(b.1) Major sexual offenses. — A prosecution for any of the following
offenses under Title 18 must be commenced within 12 years after it is
committed:

Section 3121 (relating to rape).

Section 3122.1 (relating to statutory sexual assault).

Section 3123 (relating to involuntary deviate sexual intercourse).

Section 3124.1 (relating to sexual assault).

Section 3125 (relating to aggravated indecent assault).

Section 4302 (relating to incest).

Section 6312 (relating to sexual abuse of children).

(c) Exceptions. — If the period prescribed in subsection (a), (b) or
(b. 1) has expired, a prosecution may nevertheless be commenced for:

(1) Any offense a material element of which is either fraud or a breach
of fiduciary obligation within one year after discovery of the offense by
an aggrieved party or by a person who has a legal duty to represent an
aggrieved party and who is himself not a party to the offense, but in no
case shall this paragraph extend the period of limitation otherwise
applicable by more than three years.

(2) Any offense committed by a public officer or employee in the course
of or in connection with his office or employment at any time when the
defendant is in public office or employment or within five years
thereafter, but in no case shall this paragraph extend the period of
limitation otherwise applicable by more than eight years.

(3) Any sexual offense committed against a minor who is less than 18
years of age any time up to the later of the period of limitation
provided by law after the minor has reached 18 years of age or the date
the minor reaches 50 years of age. As used in this paragraph, the term
"sexual offense" means a crime under the following provisions of Title 18
(relating to crimes and offenses):

Section 3121 (relating to rape).

Section 3122.1 (relating to statutory sexual assault).

Section 3123 (relating to involuntary deviate sexual intercourse).

Section 3124.1 (relating to sexual assault).

Section 3125 (relating to aggravated indecent assault).

Section 3126 (relating to indecent assault).

Section 3127 (relating to indecent exposure).

Section 4302 (relating to incest).

Section 4304 (relating to endangering welfare of children).

Section 6301 (relating to corruption of minors).

Section 6312(b) (relating to sexual abuse of children).

Section 6320 (relating to sexual exploitation of children).

(4) An offense in violation of 18 Pa.C.S. § 6111(c) or (g), within one
year of its discovery by State or local law enforcement, but in no case
shall this paragraph extend the period of limitation otherwise applicable
by more than eight years.

(c.1) Genetic identification evidence. — Notwithstanding any provision
of law to the contrary, if evidence of a misdemeanor sexual offense set
forth in subsection (c)(3) or a felony offense is obtained containing
human deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) which is subsequently used to identify
an otherwise unidentified individual as the perpetrator of the offense,
the prosecution of the offense may be commenced within the period of
limitations provided for the offense or one year after the identity of
the individual is determined, whichever is later.

(d) Commission of offense. — An offense is committed either when every
element occurs, or, if a legislative purpose to prohibit a continuing
course of conduct plainly appears, at the time when the course of conduct
or the complicity of the defendant therein is terminated. Time starts to
run on the day after the offense is committed.

(e) Commencement of prosecution. — Except as otherwise provided by
general rule adopted pursuant to section 5503 (relating to commencement
of matters), a prosecution is commenced either when an indictment is
found or an information under section 8931(b) (relating to indictment and
information) is issued, or when a warrant, summons or citation is
issued, if such warrant, summons or citation is executed without
unreasonable delay.

[fn1] 35 P. S. § 780-113(f).

[fn2] 62 P. S. § 101 et seq.

[fn3] 18 P. S. § 1.1 et seq.

42 Pa.C.S.A. § 5551. No limitation applicable

A prosecution for the following offenses may be commenced at any time:

(1) Murder.

(2) Voluntary manslaughter.

(3) Conspiracy to commit murder or solicitation to commit murder
results from the conspiracy or solicitation.

(4) Any felony alleged to have been perpetrated in connection with a
murder of the first or second degree, as set forth in 18 Pa.C.S. § 2502(a)
or (b) and (d) (relating to murder)

(5) A violation of 75 Pa.C.S. § 3742 (relating to accidents involving
death or personal injury) or 3732 (relating to homicide by vehicle) if
the accused was the driver of a vehicle involved in an accident resulting
in the death of any person.

(6) A violation of 18 Pa.C.S. § 2702(a)(1), (2), (4) or (7) (relating
to aggravated assault) if the accused knew the victim was a law
enforcement officer and the law enforcement officer was acting within the
scope of the officer's duties.


18 Pa.C.S.A. § 108. Time limitations

(a) General rule. — Except as set forth in subsection (b), a
prosecution for any offense under this title must be commenced within the
period, if any, limited by Chapter 55 of Title 42 (relating to limitation
of time).

(b) Offenses against unborn child.

(1) A prosecution for criminal homicide of an unborn child may be
commenced at any time.

(2) A prosecution for an offense under section 2606 (relating to
aggravated assault of unborn child) must be commenced within five years
after it is committed.

18 Pa.C.S.A. § 3926. Theft of services

(a) Acquisition of services. —

(1) A person is guilty of theft if he intentionally obtains services
for himself or for another which he knows are available only for
compensation, by deception or threat, by altering or tampering with the
public utility meter or measuring device by which such services are
delivered or by causing or permitting such altering or tampering, by
making or maintaining any unauthorized connection, whether physically,
electrically or inductively, to a distribution or transmission line, by
attaching or maintaining the attachment of any unauthorized device to any
cable, wire or other component of an electric, telephone or cable
television system or to a television receiving set connected to a cable
television system, by making or maintaining any unauthorized modification
or alteration to any device installed by a cable television system, or by
false token or other trick or artifice to avoid payment for the service.

(1.1) A person is guilty of theft if he intentionally obtains or
attempts to obtain telecommunication service by the use of an unlawful
telecommunication device or without the consent of the telecommunication
service provider.

(2) Deleted.

(3) A person is not guilty of theft of cable television service under
this section who subscribes to and receives service through an authorized
connection of a television receiving set at his dwelling and, within his
dwelling, makes an unauthorized connection of an additional television
receiving set or sets or audio system which receives only basic cable
television service obtained through such authorized connection.

(4) Where compensation for service is ordinarily paid immediately upon
the rendering of such service, as in the case of hotels and restaurants,
refusal to pay or absconding without payment or offer to pay gives rise
to a presumption that the service was obtained by deception as to
intention to pay.

(b) Diversion of services. — A person is guilty of theft if, having
control over the disposition of services of others to which he is not
entitled, he knowingly diverts such services to his own benefit or to the
benefit of another not entitled thereto.

(c) Grading. —

(1) An offense under this section constitutes a summary offense when
the value of the services obtained or diverted is less than $50.

(2) When the value of the services obtained or diverted is $50 or
more, the grading of the offense shall be as established in section 3903
(relating to grading of theft offenses).

(3) Amounts involved in theft of services committed pursuant to one
scheme or course of conduct, whether from the same person or several
persons, may be aggregated in determining the grade of the offense.

(d) Inferences. —

(1) Any person having possession of or access to the location of a
public utility meter or service measuring device which has been avoided or
tampered with so as to inhibit or prevent the accurate measurement of
utility service and who enjoys the use of or receives the benefit from
the public utility service intended to be metered or measured by the
public utility meter or measuring device so avoided or tampered with may
be reasonably inferred to have acted to avoid or tamper with the public
utility meter or measuring device with the intent to obtain the public
utility service without making full compensation therefor.

(2) Any person having possession of or access to the location of the
distribution or transmission lines or other facilities of a cable
television system which have been tapped, altered or tampered with or to
which any unauthorized connection has been made or to which any
unauthorized device has been attached or any person having possession of
or access to any device installed by a cable television system to which
an unauthorized modification or alteration has been made, the result of
which tapping, altering, tampering, connection, attachment or
modification is to avoid payment for all or any part of the cable
television service for which payment is normally required, and who enjoys
the use of or receives the benefit from the cable television service, may
be reasonably inferred to have acted to have tapped, altered, tampered
with, connected or attached to or modified cable television facilities
with the intent to obtain cable television service without making full
compensation therefor. This inference shall not apply to the act of a
subscriber to cable television service, who receives service through an
authorized connection of a television receiving set at his dwelling, in
making, within his dwelling, an unauthorized connection of an additional
television receiving set or sets or audio system which receives only
basic cable television service obtained through such authorized
connection.

(e) Sale or transfer of device or plan intended for acquisition or
diversion. — A person is guilty of a misdemeanor of the third degree if
he sells, gives or otherwise transfers to others or offers, advertises or
exposes for sale to others, any device, kit, plan or other instructional
procedure for the making of such device or a printed circuit, under
circumstances indicating his having knowledge or reason to believe that
such device, kit, plan or instructional procedure is intended for use by
such others for the acquisition or diversion of services as set forth in
subsections (a) and (b).

(f) Restitution. — The court may, in addition to any other sentence
authorized by law, sentence a person convicted of violating this
section to make restitution under section 1106 (relating to restitution for
injuries to person or property) or 42 Pa.C.S. § 9721(c) (relating to
sentencing generally).

(g) Civil action. — A telecommunication service provider aggrieved by a
violation of this section may in a civil action in any court of competent
jurisdiction obtain appropriate relief, including preliminary and other
equitable or declaratory relief, compensatory and punitive damages,
reasonable investigation expenses, costs of suit and attorney fees.

(h) Definitions. — As used in this section, the following words and
phrases shall have the meanings given to them in this subsection:

"Service." Includes, but is not limited to, labor, professional
service, transportation service, the supplying of hotel accommodations,
restaurant services, entertainment, cable television service, the
supplying of equipment for use and the supplying of commodities of a
public utility nature such as gas, electricity, steam and water, and
telephone or telecommunication service. The term "unauthorized" means
that payment of full compensation for service has been avoided, or has
been sought to be avoided, without the consent of the supplier of the
service.

"Telecommunication service provider." A person or entity providing
telecommunication service, including, but not limited to, a cellular,
paging or other wireless communications company or other person or entity
which, for a fee, supplies the facility, cell site, mobile telephone
switching office or other equipment or telecommunication service.

"Telephone service" or "telecommunication service." Includes, but is
not limited to, any service provided for a charge or compensation to
facilitate the origination, transmission, emission or reception of
signs, signals, data, writings, images and sounds or intelligence of any
nature by telephone, including cellular telephones, wire, radio,
electromagnetic, photoelectronic or photo-optical system.

"Unlawful telecommunication device." Any electronic serial number,
mobile identification number, personal identification number or any
telecommunication device that is capable or has been altered, modified,
programmed or reprogrammed alone or in conjunction with another access
device or other equipment so as to be capable of acquiring or
facilitating the acquisition of a telecommunication service without the
consent of the telecommunication service provider. The term includes, but
is not limited to, phones altered to obtain service without the consent
of the telecommunication service provider, tumbler phones, counterfeit or
clone phones, tumbler microchips, counterfeit or clone microchips,
scanning receivers of wireless telecommunication service of a
telecommunication service provider and other instruments capable of
disguising their identity or location or of gaining access to a
communications system operated by a telecommunication service provider.