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What is Theft by Deception?

Theft by deception occurs when one person uses deception in order to gain something from another person. For example: if a person claims to offer a service in exchange for money, takes a person's money but never provides a service. Below are just a few of the more commonly asked theft by deception questions that have been answered by Experts.

What to do if one is being charged with 18 3922a3 and 18 3927a?

Case Details: The person is being charged with f3 12 counts and m1 9 counts. All 21 cases were rolled into one large criminal case.

It appears the District Attorney is trying to show the person’s actions were intentional. When trying to prove intent, the prosecutor will have to provide evidence. This can be hard to prove simply by looking at what the person did and try to connect it to an intentional act. They should have an attorney review the evidence in their defense. Below are the definitions of both codes that the person is being charged with.

Under 18 3927a: "A person who obtains property upon agreement, or subject to a known legal obligation, to make specified payments or other disposition, whether from such property or its proceeds or from his own property to be reserved in equivalent amount, is guilty of theft if he intentionally deals with the property obtained as his own and fails to make the required payment or disposition. The foregoing applies notwithstanding that it may be impossible to identify particular property as belonging to the victim at the time of the failure of the actor to make the required payment or disposition."

Under 18 3922a3: "A person is guilty of theft if he intentionally obtains or withholds property of another by deception. A person deceives if he intentionally fails to correct a false impression which the deceiver previously created or reinforced, or which the deceiver knows to be influencing another to whom he stands in a fiduciary or confidential relationship."

What can a person do if a bank is charging a person for theft by deception after they paid the funds for a non-sufficient funds check?

If the bank brought charges against a person after they have been repaid, one may be able to file a case against the bank for malicious prosecution. In order to do this, one will need proof the debt was paid prior to charges being filed. Repaying the money, shows the bank the person was not trying to deceive and they wanted to repair the mistake. An attorney should review this case to see if there is a case.

Can charges be dropped after the items were returned and restitution paid?

The prosecutor will be the one who decides if the charges will be dropped. While returning the items and paying restitution shows remorse, it doesn't erase the fact that a crime was committed. Usually, when a person pays restitution before a court hearing, the punishment may be lessened but there is no way of knowing if the charges will be dropped. This is determined by the circumstances of each case and the prosecutor's tolerance to the crime.

In Pennsylvania, what are the statute of limitations on theft by deception? Can criminal charges be filed after a civil suit has been filed?

Pennsylvania law provides that the statute of limitations  is five years. Criminal charges can be brought against a person during this time even when there is a civil suit in place. Criminal and civil charges are two separate areas of law.

Is it theft by deception if a driver claims damage was done to their vehicle when seeking an estimate after the police report states "caused no damage?”

Only if the other driver tries to get money for the damages would it be the case. Generally, the person who is claiming the damage would take the other driver to court for damages. Then the police officer who handled the report would testify that there was no damage at the time of the report.

Being the victim of theft by deception can be an emotional and expensive experience. However, to prove or disprove such a case one has to have sufficient evidence. For legal advice and to know what you should expect, consult with an Expert on JustAnswer for answers to your unique case.


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