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Cable Theft

Stealing Cable TV or Internet are criminal offenses committed on a large scale. These forms of theft are extremely common and easily accomplished. To prove the crime of Theft of Communications Services, the State Attorney must beyond a reasonable doubt that the criminal suspect knowingly intercepted, received, decrypted, disrupted, transmitted, retransmitted, or acquired access to any communication service or assisted another in intercepting, receiving, decrypting, disrupting, transmitting, re-transmitting, or acquiring access to any cable operation or other communication service, that the criminal suspect did not have the express authorization of the cable operator or other communications service provider to do so, and that the criminal suspect did so with the intent to defraud the cable operator or communications service provider. If the jury finds the criminal suspect guilty of unlawful reception of communications service, the jury must further determine beyond a reasonable doubt whether the criminal suspect has been previously convicted of unlawful reception of communications service and whether the criminal suspect acted for the purpose of direct or indirect commercial advantage or private financial gain. This criminal offense may be deemed to have been committed at any place where the criminal suspect manufactured, developed, or assembled any communications devices involved in the criminal violation, or assists others in these acts, or any place where the communications device is sold or delivered to a purchaser or recipient. It is not a defense that some of the acts constituting the criminal offense occurred outside of the state.

“Cable Operator” means a communications service provider who provides some or all of its communications services pursuant to a “cable television franchise” issued by a “franchising authority.” “Cable System” means any communications service network, system, or facility owned or operated by a cable operator. “Communications Device” means any type of electronic mechanism, transmission line, or connections and appurtenances thereto, instrument, device, machine, equipment, or software that is capable of intercepting, transmitting, acquiring, decrypting, or receiving any communications service, or any part, accessory, or component thereof, including any computer circuit, splitter, connector, switches, transmission hardware, security module, smart card, software, computer chip, electronic mechanism, or other component, accessory, or part of any communication device which is capable of facilitating the interception, transmission, re-transmission, acquisition, decryption, or reception of any communications service. “Communications service” means any service lawfully provided for a charge or compensation by any cable system or by any radio, fiber optic, photo-optical, electromagnetic, photoelectronic, satellite, microwave, data transmission, internet-based, or wireless distribution network, system, or facility, including but not limited to, any electronic, data, video, audio, internet access, microwave, and radio communications, transmissions, signals, and service, and any such communications, transmissions, signals, and services lawfully provided for a charge or compensation, directly or indirectly by or through any of those networks, systems, or facilities. “Communications service provider” means any person or entity owning or operating any cable system or any fiber optic, photo-optical, electromagnetic, photoelectronic, satellite, wireless, microwave, radio, data transmission, or internet-based distribution network, system, or facility, or any person or entity providing any lawful communications service, whether directly or indirectly, as a reseller or licensee, by or through any such distribution network, system, or facility. The term “Assist Others” includes the sale, transfer, license, distribution, deployment, lease, manufacture, development, or assembly of a communication device for the purpose of facilitating the unauthorized receipt, acquisition, interception, disruption, decryption, transmission, retransmission, or access to any communications service offered by a cable operator or any other communications service provider, and the sale, transfer, license, distribution, deployment, lease, manufacture, development, or assembly of a communication device for the purpose of defeating or circumventing any effective technology, device, or software, or any component thereof, used by cable operator or other communications service provider to protect any communications service from unauthorized receipt, acquisition interception, disruption, decryption, transmission, retransmission.

If you have been arrested or criminally charged with Stealing Cable TV, it would be advantageous to call a criminal defense attorney to discuss your rights as the defendant in a criminal law case. Criminal Defense Attorney Kenneth P. Hassett of Hassett and Associates, P.A. is an experienced criminal defense lawyer who has been practicing since 1991 in Miami Dade County, Fort Lauderdale, and Broward County. Criminal defense lawyers can help you defend yourself against the State Attorney’s criminal charges. Kenneth P. Hassett is a criminal lawyer who will fight to represent you to the fullest extent in battling your criminal charges. Contact Hassett and Associates, P.A. 24 hours per day seven days per week for an immediate free consultation about your case with a Cable Theft Lawyer.

812.15 Unauthorized reception of communications services; penalties.


The information on this page does not represent legal advice. Florida Statues obtained from Online Sunshine, www.leg.state.fl.us, the official site of the Florida Legislature. Because the law is continually changing, some of the provisions contained herein may be out of date. It is always wise to seek counsel from an experienced criminal attorney like Kenneth Hassett.

If you have been charged as an Accessory After the Fact or a Principal in the First Degree to a criminal offense in Broward or Miami-Dade County, call Criminal Defense Attorney Kenneth P. Hassett.