Check Fraud in California
If you have been accused of check fraud in the State of California, it is likely a bit confusing trying to understand the charges that you face along with the associated penalties. In California, check fraud is a broad term that at times can seem vague since it encompasses a wide range of theft offenses. If you are facing check fraud or related charges, it’s essential to have an experienced San Diego criminal defense attorney on your side that knows the details of the law and can help you get the best outcome for your case, whether that involves reducing or completely dismissing your charges. Bradley Corbett has won not guilty verdicts in every courthouse in the San Diego and Long Beach area. He’ll work tirelessly to do the same for you.
Penal Code 476 Defined
In California, the laws regarding check fraud are found in Penal Code 476. To put it simply, check fraud is defined as creating, possessing, or attempting to create or use a check with the intent to defraud while representing the check to be genuine.
Some examples of activities that would be classified as check fraud include generating a fake check, altering the dollar amount on the check, or forging the name or signature of the payor with the intent to defraud.
Oftentimes people who are charged with check fraud are completely unaware that they are in the wrong. Others may have had a momentary lapse of judgment that led them to alter the check. Whatever your circumstances, there’s no case too complex for the Bradley Corbett team to handle.
Penalties for Check Fraud
Because check fraud in California can be considered a felony or a misdemeanor depending on the case, the penalties for the sentence vary greatly. If convicted with a misdemeanor, those found guilty of check fraud can face a fine of up to $1,000 and up to one year in a county jail. Felony charges for check fraud can result into up to three years in California state prison, up to $10,000 in fines, or one year of probation and a maximum of one year in county jail.
There are several offenses that are commonly filed in connection with Penal Code 476. This can include writing bad checks, which is intentionally writing or passing a check to defraud while knowing there are not sufficient funds to cover the full amount in the bank account. This can also include various types of forgery, like signing the name of another person without their consent on important documents, or committing grand theft or petty theft by writing fraudulent checks.
Defending Check Fraud Charges
When it comes to defending the charges you are facing for check fraud, it takes a skilled attorney to know which arguments will hold up in court and will result in the best outcome possible for your case. Common arguments that defense lawyers use for their clients accused of check fraud include having no fraudulent intent, having consent to alter the check in any way, or that they were victims of a mistaken identity. Other defenses that can be used are that the issuer wasn’t in the proper state of mind when writing the check, that the issuer didn’t know the check would be honored, or that the payment was stopped before a notice was received of insufficient funds.
Don’t let the impending threat of a guilty verdict for check fraud charges destroy your future or your family. Contact Bradley Corbett today for a free case consultation and to learn how our expert team can help fight for your rights.