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With all the security measures in place, check fraud and passing bad checks has become less frequent. However, there are still many cases that go before the court for this type of matter. When a person writes and passes a check that has been forged to obtain money or a possession, they are violating the California-PC 476 for check fraud. When a person writes a check knowing there are no funds to cover the check, they are guilty of PC 476 a.
What is a Fraudulent Check Charge?
A prosecutor must have a strong case against the defendant, and must be able to establish that the person passed or possessed a check that was not legal. It can include checks that are fake, altered or the knowledge that one was fraudulent. Additionally, the prosecution must be able to show that the defendant has the intent to pass the check as their property and genuine. It can be a check from a fake account, a fake person, or a real account with a check that is altered. The amount, routing number, name, or payee of the check can be fraudulently changed too.
The charges for this type of crime fall under the category as a “wobbler.” This means that the prosecutor can file that charges as either a misdemeanor or a felony. In many cases, they initially file them as a felony, and a skilled attorney can get the charges reduced. The events of each case will be reviewed and also the defendant’s prior criminal history.
Having a defense to a check fraud charge is not always easy, but it can be done. In some cases, a person may have a fake check and not even know it. They may try to cash it at the bank and not even realize they have been paid with a bogus check. In this instance, the defense could be proven and charges dropped. The statute states that a person must have the intent to defraud another. If a person had no knowledge that they were in possession of a bogus check, there is no way they can defraud another. Though the criminal prosecutor will argue that the defendant should have known and that the check looked fake, it can be a hard sell. In a case where both parties alter the check, like the date or name, it is not considered to violate the law. Charges of this degree can be easily fought. Though it is a difficult charge to defend, we will work tirelessly to ensure you see justice.
Passing Bad Checks
In section 476 a, a person who writes a check, without sufficient funds to cover the check, can also be charged with check fraud. In many cases, check fraud and credit card fraud can overlap into a general theft offense in the state of California. Writing bad checks is getting harder to do with new checking devices that verify funds before the check is written, but it still occurs. This offense also falls under the “wobbler” and can go as a felony or misdemeanor. If the amount of the check is over $300, it is automatically classified as a felony.
Whether you have been charged with passing bad checks or check fraud, you need a skilled attorney who is knowledgeable about this area of law. Check fraud and writing checks when there is no money to cover them are serious offenses. However, we have successfully helped several people reduce or clear the charges against them. Call us today for a consultation. We want to help you move past this event and retain your good name.