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What is Theft by Deception?

Posted on in Theft

deception, theft by deception, Illinois Criminal Defense AttorneyThere are many ways to obtain money or property to which you are not entitled. Many of these, under Illinois, are considered crimes of theft. You may be familiar with some of the common types of theft, including shoplifting and stealing, but there is another category of such offenses that more closely resembles what many would consider fraud. This type of theft is known as theft by deception, and such charges can carry serious criminal penalties and consequences.

As opposed to simply stealing money or property, as in retail theft, or forcibly taking it from another, as in a robbery, theft by deception is generally accomplished by misleading the victim in some way. Most commonly, the victim willingly gives money or property to the perpetrator under the belief that the payment is required or will result in a beneficial business arrangement.

Examples of Theft by Deception

Theft by deception can be perpetrated in a number of different ways, limited only by the imagination of a person intending to benefit from the activity. A commonly reported version involves an individual posing as a contractor who offers repair services door-to-door. Unsuspecting—and often naïve—homeowners agree to pay in advance for the "needed" repairs, which never get done. Likewise, a perpetrator could attempt to collect rental payments while purporting to be an agent of the victim’s landlord.

Potential Penalties

Charges of theft by deception are extremely serious and carry very severe criminal penalties. The prosecution of such offenses is generally dependent upon the value of the payment or property and the circumstances of the case. Theft by deception of $500 or less is a Class 3 felony, carrying a prison sentence of two to five years. Prosecution and penalties increase with the value of unlawfully obtained property, up to Class 1 felony charges, carrying to 30 years in prison. As with other offenses, the history of the defendant and the details of the case can increase the potential consequences.

If you have been charged with theft by deception, contact an Illinois criminal defense attorney today. You deserve representation from a legal professional committed to helping your protect your future. Call 847-488-0889 to schedule your free consultation at The The Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola.

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