Obtaining Food or Lodging with Intent to Defraud
A person who obtains food, lodging, or other accommodations at any public food service establishment, or at any transient establishment, with intent to defraud, commits a second degree misdemeanor if the value of the goods obtained is less than $300,47 and a third-degree felony if the value of the goods is $1,000 or more.
This crime is sometimes called “Defrauding an Innkeeper.”
Title XXXIII for the regulation of trade, commerce, investments, and solicitations in Chapter 509 for lodging and food service establishments in Section 509.151 provides:
509.151 Obtaining food or lodging with intent to defraud; penalty.—
(1) Any person who obtains food, lodging, or other accommodations having a value of less than $300 at any public food service establishment, or at any transient establishment, with intent to defraud the operator thereof, is guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083; if such food, lodging, or other accommodations have a value of $1,000 or more, such person is guilty of a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
(2) This section does not apply where there has been an agreement in writing for delay in payments. This section shall not be used to circumvent the procedural requirements of the Florida Residential Landlord and Tenant Act.
The threshold for classifying the offense of a felony or misdemeanor changed from $300 to $1,000 on October 1, 2019.
Attorney for Obtaining Lodging or Food by Fraud in Tampa, FL
If you were arrested for obtaining lodging or food by fraud under Section 509.151, then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at Sammis Law Firm. Whether you are charged with a felony or a misdemeanor, we can help.
Our attorneys fight theft cases in Tampa, throughout Hillsborough County, and the surrounding counties in the greater Tampa Bay area.