Many people do not realize that writing a bad check is a serious crime. You may write a bad check because it was a mistake, or you may have thought you could get away with writing a bad check for cheap item. However, if you write a bounced check in California, you could be criminally prosecuted.
Under California Penal Code Section 476(a), it is a crime to write a check knowing that you have insufficient funds and the intent to defraud. That is why you need to speak with an experienced bad check attorney immediately if you are accused of writing a bad check.
Defenses to Writing a Bad Check
If the prosecution can prove that you knowingly wrote a bad check with the intent to deceive another person out of money or property, you can be convicted of writing a bad check under PC 476(a). This crime does not require proof that you fabricated a false check or wrote false information. The crime is completed the minute you knowingly write a check for an amount you did not actually have.
A knowledgeable criminal defense attorney can raise certain defenses on your behalf to help you defeat these charges. Depending on the facts of your case, a defense attorney can argue that you did not have the necessary intent to defraud because you reasonably believed that there would be sufficient funds to pay for the check amount.
Again, depending on your facts, a bad check attorney may also present evidence that you had informed the person receiving the check that you had insufficient funds, thus negating any intent to defraud. Without proof that you had the intent to defraud, the charge will likely be dismissed.
Consequences of Writing a Bad Check in California (PC 476(a))
Bad check penalties can include a jail sentence of up to three years in state prison if the offense was charged as a felony. In order to charge you with a felony for writing a bad check, the dollar amount of the check (or checks) you wrote must have exceeded $950. If you write a bad check for less than $950, you will be charged with a misdemeanor. Misdemeanor writing a bad check carries a penalty of up to 364 days in county jail.
Call the Bad Check Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich
If you are accused of writing a bad check in California under PC 476(a), it is crucial that you contact an experienced Wallin & Klarich criminal defense attorney immediately. Our skilled attorneys have over 30 years of experience successfully defending clients bad check and forgery charges. We will analyze the facts of your case and plan a defense strategy that will help you get the very best outcome possible in your case.
With offices located in Los Angeles, Sherman Oaks, Torrance, Orange County, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, West Covina and Victorville, there is an experienced Wallin & Klarich forgery attorney available to help you no matter where you work or live.
Call us today at (888) 280-6839 for a free phone consultation. We will get through this together.