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How Much Trouble Can I Be in for Writing Bad Checks?

 Posted on December 22, 2023 in Criminal Law

Blog ImageWriting bad checks can land you in some serious hot water. If charged and convicted, you could be looking at time in prison and a hefty fine. Writing bad checks is considered check fraud and could fall under forgery or embezzlement, which are felony crimes. A felony is a permanent stain on your criminal record, which could negatively affect many aspects of your life. When charged with check fraud, you must seek a knowledgeable, skilled attorney to protect your rights.

The Penalties For Check Fraud

Attempting to knowingly and fraudulently obtain money, credits, funds, assets, or any property a financial institution owns can lead to massive legal repercussions and penalties. This falls under deceptive practices according to Illinois law. The amount of money involved will usually determine the penalties for the accused. Check fraud is a complex case that can encompass many fraudulent activities, such as:

  • Writing a check from a closed bank account or one you knew did not have sufficient funds
  • Writing a check in anticipation of future funds that have yet to appear in your account
  • Using checks that have been altered or forged
  • Endorsing a check that is not yours

As stated, the amount will have a major impact on the penalties the accused will face:

  • Class A misdemeanor - Less than $500 with no prior convictions
  • Class 4 felony - Less than $500 with previous convictions of financial crimes or theft
  • Class 3 felony - Less than $10,000 but more than $500
  • Class 2 felony - Less than $100,000 but more than $10,000
  • Class 1 felony - Less than $500,000 but more than $100,000
  • Class 1 non-probational felony - Less than $1 million but more than $100,000
  • Class X felony - Exceeds $1 million

Every penalty classified as a felony involves the possibility of not less than one year of imprisonment. Each penalty, with a conviction, may impose upon the convicted a fine and possible restitution. The amount for fines can reach up to $25,000.

Defense Against Check Fraud Charges

There are several defenses a reasonable attorney can use in court, which include:

  • The defendant was unaware that the account did not have sufficient funds
  • The defendant did not intend to defraud or pass a bad check
  • The defendant did not realize the check was in a different name
  • The defendant was the victim of identity theft

The defenses used will have to pertain to your specific situation. Just understand that the best attorneys will review a case's evidence and employ the right strategy to help preserve your rights.

Contact a DuPage County, IL Criminal Defense Attorney

When you need to defend yourself against check fraud, you will want a Wheaton, IL bad checks defense attorney with intricate knowledge of the law on the subject. For high-quality criminal defense, consult one from the Davi Law Group, LLC. We will uncover legal loopholes or exculpatory evidence to provide the most vigorous defense possible. Contact the office for a free consultation at 630-580-6373.

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