failure to work

Failure to work after being paid in NC – One of the topics that we find interesting is just how many crimes North Carolina statutes cover that most people have never heard of.  Being criminal defense attorneys, this comes up on an almost weekly basis.  One of these crimes is “obtaining advances under promise to work and pay for same” ………..what the heck does that mean? In this blog, we will talk about what it means.

Like all of our blogs, this is intended for informational purposes only and would be a very poor substitute for the advice and counsel of a criminal defense lawyer.

What does the statute say about this failure to work after being paid?

Failure to work after being paid is governed under North Carolina General Statute 14-104, which states “If any person, with intent to cheat or defraud another, shall obtain any advances in money, provisions, goods, wares or merchandise of any description from any other person or corporation upon and by color of any promise or agreement that the person making the same will begin work or labor of any description for such person or corporation from whom the advances are obtained, and the person making the promise or agreement shall willfully fail, without lawful excuse, to commence or complete such work according to contract, he shall be guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor.”

What does this mean?

Like the name “failure to work after being paid” suggests, it simply means failing to work after being paid to work. Or, more specifically, failing to perform after being paid to perform.  It is a type of fraud that is relatively simple.  An example would be someone hiring a painter to paint their house, and that painter never does the work. Though there are civil remedies, such as lawsuits available, this also constitutes a crime in North Carolina.

How is this different from obtaining property under false pretenses?

Obtaining property under false pretenses is governed by North Carolina General Statute 14-100.  That crime also involves fraud, but is more all-encompassing and can involve a wide range of activities.  This crime is much more specific and it only appropriately charged in work for hire situations.

Another significant difference is that obtaining advances under promise to work and pay for same, is a misdemeanor and follows the misdemeanor sentencing guidelines, while obtaining property under false pretenses, is a felony and follows the felony sentencing guidelines.

It is important to note, however, that activities that may lead to the charging of this crime can also lead to the charging of several other crimes, such as obtaining property under false pretenses and mail fraud.

Criminal law can be very complicated and requires professional assistance. If you are in need of a criminal defense lawyer in Charlotte or the surrounding areas, contact us.