What Does It Mean to Defraud an Innkeeper in Wyoming?

defrauding an innkeeper

You might be asking, what does defrauding an innkeeper mean? Defrauding an innkeeper is a legal term that covers a number of different thefts, largely the use or enjoyment of different types of services without paying for them.

Defrauding an innkeeper, also known as “dine and dash,” is a punishable offense in Wyoming. 

Wyoming Laws Related to Defrauding an Innkeeper 

What is defrauding an innkeeper in WY? Wyoming Statute 6-3-406 prohibits taking, ingesting, or using products or services from a business without paying. Examples of defrauding an innkeeper include:

  • Eating at a restaurant without paying;
  • Staying at a hotel without paying; and
  • Getting gas at a gas station without paying.

Defrauding an innkeeper in Wyoming can be a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the value of services used. Defrauding an innkeeper is a specific intent crime. This means that a person charged with defrauding the innkeeper must have had the intent to defraud at the time the theft occurred. 

Penalties

The penalties for defrauding an innkeeper depend on whether the charge is a misdemeanor or a felony. Defrauding an innkeeper is a misdemeanor if the value of stolen services is less than $1,000. If the value of stolen services is $1,000 or more, defrauding an innkeeper is a felony offense in Wyoming.

A misdemeanor conviction carries a potential fine of up to $750, up to 6 months in jail, or both. A felony conviction carries a potential fine of up to $10,000, up to 10 years in jail, or both. 

Defenses

The best defense to a charge of defrauding an innkeeper is lack of intent to defraud. If you didn’t pay for your meal or your hotel room because of a miscommunication or because you forgot, were distracted, or you thought someone else paid, you may be able to argue the defense of lack of intent or honest mistake. 

How a Defense Attorney Can Help 

If you’ve been charged with defrauding an innkeeper in Wyoming, you should seek the advice of an experienced criminal defense attorney. A Wyoming criminal defense attorney will be able to answer questions like, What is defrauding an innkeeper? in non-legal terms and help you understand the possible charges and penalties you face.

An experienced attorney will work with you to develop a case strategy that reflects your best interests. An attorney will represent you in court and negotiate with prosecutors to seek the best outcome for your case and for your future. 

Contact Us Today 

Cowboy Country Criminal Defense is a Casper-based law firm that represents defendants across the state of Wyoming. We will work with you to develop your case, and we will negotiate with prosecutors to protect your rights and promote your best interests.

Contact us today online or by calling 307-333-7884 and let us represent you.

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