Deceptive Practices

Deceptive Practice (Bad Check) Crimes in Illinois are covered under State Law 720 ILCS 5/17-1 (b).   Individuals and businesses in the City of Champaign needing to file a deceptive practice report may do so by following the below guidelines and using the Deceptive Practices Complaint Form.

The State’s Attorney’s Office makes final decision on whether state criminal charges will be filed.


Deceptive Practices Complaint Form

Champaign Police will:

  • Review incidents for check(s) written between $50 and $300. If the incident meets criteria, a City of Champaign Ordinance Violation will be issued to the offender.
  • Take a police report for cases over $300 and forward that information to the Champaign County State’s Attorney’s Office for their review and disposition.
  • Generate cases for local banks only, involving local suspects. A standard police report will be generated for out of town checks.


  • Cases will not be investigated for second party checks, post-dated checks, or checks over 90 days.
  • Cases will not be investigated if an agreement was made with the check writer for restitution, which they later defaulted on. If an agreement was made, but no restitution was received, the case can still be investigated.

After a report has been generated, follow up investigation will be completed by the police department to determine what action will be taken.

Prior contacts, charges, and convictions will be checked.

  • If appropriate, and the suspect can be located locally, a City Notice to Appear (NTA) will be issued to the suspect for Theft, as a City Ordinance Violation.
  • If the suspect cannot be located locally, or there are prior convictions, the case can be referred to the Champaign County State’s Attorney’s Office for their review for charging under State law for Deceptive Practices, or other appropriate charges.
  • If the suspect cannot be located, or the case is not appropriate for charging, the check and other documentation can be returned to the merchant for pursuit of Civil charges and collections.

Before a merchant can file a deceptive practices complaint, the following items must be met:

  • Merchant must provide original check for evidence.
  • Identification information must show as being copied onto the check by merchant, including: DL/ID number, type, Date of Birth.
  • Merchant must confirm that address and information printed on check was verified, and corrected if necessary.
  • A photo comparison with person presenting check was completed when check was presented.
  • Clerk who received the check must be available as a witness if the case is to be prosecuted and must be able to verify the identity of the person that presented the check.
  • Clerk’s identifying mark must be present on the check.
  • Merchant must provide documentation of the check being presented to the bank twice (NSF checks) and once for Account Closed.
  • Merchant must provide copy of demand letter sent to suspect (Certified Mail, return receipt). Demand letter must notify the check writer of the check problem, and of their liabilities under the Civil Liability for Deceptive Practices Law (720ILCS 5/17-1(b) Illinois Compiled Statutes), and that their failure to respond to the letter will result in the check being referred to the police department for investigation.
  • Merchant must provide video surveillance of the transaction, if available.
  • A copy of the receipt for goods/services must be provided.