How to File Theft by Deception Charges: A Step-by-Step Guide

Theft by deception is a serious crime that involves obtaining property or services through deceitful means. It can take many forms, such as false pretenses, false promises, or fraudulent misrepresentation. If you have been a victim of theft by deception, it is important to take action and file charges against the perpetrator. In this article, we will guide you through the process of filing theft by deception charges step-by-step.

Understanding Theft by Deception

Before we dive into the process of filing charges, it is important to have a clear understanding of what constitutes theft by deception. According to the law, theft by deception occurs when someone intentionally obtains property or services by deceiving another person. This can include lying, making false promises, or using fraudulent documents. It is important to note that the deception must be intentional, and the victim must have been deceived into giving up their property or services.

Step 1: Gather Evidence

The first step in filing theft by deception charges is to gather evidence. This can include any documents, emails, or text messages that prove the perpetrator’s deceitful actions. It is important to have as much evidence as possible to support your case. If there were any witnesses to the deception, it is crucial to gather their statements as well.

Step 2: Contact the Police

Once you have gathered enough evidence, the next step is to contact the police. You can either go to your local police station or call the non-emergency number to report the crime. The police will take your statement and review the evidence you have provided. They may also conduct their own investigation to gather more evidence.

Step 3: File a Report

After the police have reviewed your case, they will file a report. This report will include all the details of the crime, including the evidence and witness statements. It is important to review the report and make sure all the information is accurate. If there are any discrepancies, make sure to bring them to the attention of the police.

Step 4: Consult with a Lawyer

Filing theft by deception charges can be a complex process, and it is important to have a legal expert by your side. Consult with a lawyer who specializes in theft cases to understand your legal rights and options. They can also help you navigate the legal system and ensure that your case is handled properly.

Step 5: File Charges

Once you have consulted with a lawyer and have a strong case, it is time to file charges. Your lawyer will help you prepare the necessary documents and file them with the court. The charges will be based on the evidence and the laws in your state.

Step 6: Attend Court Proceedings

After the charges have been filed, you will be required to attend court proceedings. This can include pre-trial hearings, where the judge will review the evidence and determine if there is enough evidence to proceed to trial. If the case goes to trial, you will be required to testify and present your evidence in court.

Step 7: Seek Restitution

If the perpetrator is found guilty, you may be entitled to restitution. This is a court-ordered payment that the perpetrator must make to compensate you for your losses. Your lawyer can help you determine the amount of restitution you are entitled to and assist you in collecting it.


Filing theft by deception charges can be a daunting process, but it is important to take action and hold the perpetrator accountable for their actions. By following these steps and working with a lawyer, you can ensure that your case is handled properly and increase your chances of receiving justice.


Q: Is theft by deception a felony or a misdemeanor?

A: It depends on the value of the property or services obtained through deception. In most states, if the value is over a certain amount, it is considered a felony.

Q: Can I file theft by deception charges if I have already been reimbursed for my losses?

A: Yes, you can still file charges even if you have been reimbursed. The perpetrator should still be held accountable for their actions.

Q: Can I file theft by deception charges if the perpetrator is a family member or friend?

A: Yes, you can still file charges against a family member or friend if they have deceived you. It is important to seek legal advice in these situations.