Posts Tagged ‘ Bad Check ’

BAD CHECKS, HONEST MISTAKES, AND CRIMINAL INTENT

Posted on: June 26, 2015 by in Criminal Defense
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Orange County criminal defense attorneyCalifornia Penal Code Section 476(a)

If you write a bad check in California, you can be criminally prosecuted under California Penal Code Section 476(a). If you write a check, you know that the funds are insufficient, your intent is to defraud, and the state can prove it beyond a reasonable doubt, you can serve time behind bars. If you’re charged with writing a bad check in Orange County, you need to get good legal help fast – you’ll need to contact an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney.

Writing a bad check is a felony in California if the amount exceeds $950, and it’s a misdemeanor for lesser amounts. If you’re convicted of the felony charge, you could serve up to three years in a California state prison. If you’re convicted of the misdemeanor charge, you could serve a year in a county jail. It doesn’t matter if you have insufficient funds in an ongoing account or if you write the check against a closed account; the crime is committed the moment you write a check with the intent to defraud.

A criminal charge, of course, isn’t the equivalent of a conviction, and if you are accused of writing a bad check, a prosecutor must prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. If it’s a checking account that you routinely use, it’s possible that you simply weren’t aware of your balance and you made an honest mistake. In other cases, someone may have forged your name. Always keep your checks in a secure location. If you close a checking account, always completely destroy any leftover blank checks.

If you’re accused of writing a bad check in Orange County or anywhere else in southern California, don’t try to explain anything to the police. Their job is to obtain evidence against you, so don’t say anything. Politely exercise your constitutional right to remain silent, and then contact an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney as quickly as possible.

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