What is the risk of leaving without paying at a restaurant or petrol station?

Verified 18 January 2024 - Directorate of Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister), Ministry of Justice

Leaving without paying from a restaurant, a petrol station, a taxi or a hotel is a spinning offence. We are also talking about riveting or free-riding.

Cases concerned by the crime of trickery

The offense of stealth exists when a person leaves without paying after consuming or using the following services:

  • Restaurant or cafe
  • Petrol station
  • Taxi
  • Hotel, if the stay lasts less than 10 days

Please note

not paying the toll is a toll gimmick punishable by €135 of fine.

What are the differences between sneakery, theft and scam?

  • The filouterie is different from theft, because the author must have been served and not himself. For example, someone who takes gasoline at the pump without paying is committing theft, not gimmickry.
  • The filouterie is close to the scamHowever, the latter concerns more serious matters. It is a scam and not a sham if the perpetrator uses fraudThat is, if he is lying to deceive his victims. For example, if a person pretends to be a policeman to "requisition" fuel.

Conditions for the offense of trickery

In order to be convicted, the offender must meet all of the following conditions:

  • Having used the service of a professional (sleeping at the hotel, having a coffee, taking a taxi...)
  • Knowing that they are unable to pay or being deliberately determined not to pay for the service
  • Be in bad faith, that is, never intended to pay

The perpetrator of a crime of trickery risks 6 months imprisonment and €7,500 of fine.

The perpetrator of the offense of cook-offending may be sentenced to to compensate the victim by paying damages.

The filouterie is prescribed by 6 years from the commission of the facts.

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