In a city like Chicago, it's no surprise there are a lot of cabs. It's an easy way to get around the city without having to know where you're going, you don't have to worry about finding parking, and you don't have to worry about being arrested for a DUI.
However, many of our clients find themselves in a dispute with their cab driver over something. I predict that with the surge of Uber and other prepaid services, the number of disputes with cab drivers could actually go UP simply because the rider forgets that they are not in an Uber, and jumps out without paying first.
The most common charges we see that arise out of disputes with cab drivers are:
- Theft of services
- Criminal Damage to Property
Keep in mind that Battery to an on duty cab driver can be a Felony in Illinois. 720 ILCS 5/12-3.05(d)(8).
However, most of the charges arise out of argument over payment. We've had clients who swiped their credit card believing they had paid, but the transaction didn't go through. We've had clients fall asleep in the back of the cab and the driver has a hard time waking them up. We've also had people make a deal with the driver when they get in the cab to take them home for a flat rate, only to find when they get to their destination the driver wants more money. However, the most common dispute we see between passengers and cab drivers is when the passenger feels the driver took them out of the way to get to their destination and the fare is too high.
These situations are how a Theft of Services charge arises. It is a class A misdemeanor, which means it is punishable by up to 364 days in jail. The Theft of Services charge essentially says that a person obtains use of a service by deception. This law can be found at 720 ILCS 5/16-3.
We find that most cabs are equipped with cameras which capture the actions, but not the audio, of what happens inside the cab.
We have successfully defended many clients on all of the above charges and more resulting from cab driver disputes. If this has happened to you and you have a pending court date, feel free to give us a call to chat with us about your specific case for free.