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Cable Theft Law, Sentence, & Defense
PC 593d Crimes

Information on the crime of cable theft is found at California penal cod section 593d.


Note: Cable theft of television services, which is the most common type of cable theft, has lots of common names, such as illegal cable hook up, stealing cable, etc. PC 593d covers television service theft (cable TV), but it also covers other types of cable theft., such as illegal telephone service and illegal electrical hookups. For a more precise review of any particular type of cable theft crime, including relevant punishment and defenses, contact our criminal defense lawyers for a free consultation.  

PC 593d Law

A person who unlawfully and maliciously takes down, removes, injures, disconnects, cuts, or obstructs a line of telegraph, telephone, or cable television, or any line used to conduct electricity, or any part thereof, or appurtenances or apparatus connected therewith, including, but not limited to, a backup deep cycle battery or other power supply, or severs any wire thereof, or makes an unauthorized connection with any line, other than a telegraph, telephone, or cable television line, used to conduct electricity, or any part thereof, or appurtenances or apparatus connected therewith, is guilty of cable theft (Abbreviated).

PC 593d Sentence

PC 593d may be charged as a misdemeanor of as a felony. If found guilty of felony cable theft, the defendant could face up to a three year jail sentence in; if found guilty of misdemeanor cable theft, the defendant could face up to to one year in jail (See exception for PC 593(a)(1) below).

Note: Misdemeanor cable theft charged under PC 593(a)(1) carries up to a 90 day jail sentence.


Probation Sentence: A probation sentence is a period of supervision in lieu of jail. probation is allowed in both felony and misdemeanor PC 593d cases, but it is not guaranteed. Whether or not the defendant is granted a probation sentence after a PC 593d conviction depends on many factors, including the defendant's criminal history and the facts of the case.

PC 1170(h) Sentence: Felony cable theft convictions are subject to PC 1170(h) sentencing. This means that if convicted of the crime of felony cable theft, the defendant may serves part of his or her jail sentence in custody and part of his or her jail sentence out of custody (on house arrest or work release). In addition, any incarceration would be served in a local county jail as opposed to a state prison.

CIMT: The crime of cable theft is considered a crime involving moral turpitude. A crime involving moral turpitude is a crime that is considered morally wrong or one that involves deceit. Convictions for crimes involving moral turpitude, including the crime of cable theft, can have severe negative impact on immigration status or professional licensing (doctor, dentist, lawyer, therapist, nurse, teacher, etc.).

Three Strikes Law: PC 593d crimes are not considered strike crimes under California's Three Strikes Law.

Other punishments for PC 593 convictions include: penalty fines and fees, restraining orders, probation terms, firearm prohibition (felony PC 593 only), denial entry or revocation of military enlistment, restitution, and more.

Good Behavior Credits: Both felony and misdemeanor PC 593d jail sentences are subject to 50% good conduct credits, also called time off for good behavior. This means that if the defendant is ordered to serve a jail sentence, or a work release sentence (or both), that sentence may be reduced by up to 50% if the defendant serves that sentence on good behavior.

Bail: The San Bernardino County bail schedule for misdemeanor cable theft is $5,000; felony cable theft is likely $25,000 or the amount stolen, whichever is more. Bail may be raised or lowered depending on many factors, including the defendant's criminal history and the facts of the case.

PC 593d Defense

Common defenses to a charge of cable theft include: statute of limitations, illegal search and seizure, insufficient evidence to prove the identity of the person who installed or cut a cable line, and more.

If you or a loved one has been charged with the crime of cable theft, or stealing cable (PC 593d), contact our criminal defense lawyers today for a free consultation. Our criminal defense lawyers are available seven days a week to assit you. Call today! 


Quick Reference​ Sheet

Crime: Cable Theft

Code: PC 593d(a)(1)

Wobbler: No. PC 593d(a)(1) is not a wobbler. This means that PC 593d(a)(1) is only charged as a misdemeanor.

Incarceration:PC 593d(a)(1) jail sentence up to 90 days.

Probation: Probation may be available in PC 593d(a)(1) cases (assuming other crimes or enhancements that bar a probation sentence are not present). Whether or not a probation sentence is offered by the District Attorney, or granted by the court, depends on several factors, including the defendant's criminal history and the facts of the case.​

Work Release or House Arrest: In some cases, a probation sentence can include actual in-custody county jail, house arrest (electronic monitoring), or work release (or some combination of these penalties); however, most in-custody jail sentence orders that are required as a terms of probation are much shorter than the maximum jail sentence.

Strike: PC 593d(a)(1) is not a strike offense listed in California's Three Strikes law.

Credits: 50% good conduct credits available.

CIMT: PC 593d(a)(1) is a crime involving moral turpitude, which means that an arrest or conviction could lead to the following:

  • Immigration problems

  • Professional Licensing problems

  • Impeachment on credibility


Bail: $5,000 (San Bernardino County)​ [PC593(a)(1)-M]

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