Orange County Criminal Lawyers
Check Fraud in Anaheim
In the state of California, check fraud is a common and frequently charged violation of the broader category of ‘California fraud offenses.’
In Anaheim, you can be charged with check fraud under Penal Code 476, if you have the fraudulent intention to gain value through certain fraudulent activities involving faking, forging or altering a check. The fraudulent activities for which you may seek to gain value from include:
- Making, or attempting to make,
- Writing, or attempting to write,
- Passing, or attempt to pass,
Some examples of instances of check fraud include changing the amount that someone was intending to give you from $50 to $500. Another example of check fraud would be creating an inauthentic check. Someone might do this with the intentions of cashing it.Sentences for check fraud
Check fraud can either be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony offense. The prosecutor’s decision to file the case as a felony or as a misdemeanor will depend on two main factors including:
- The suspect's criminal history especially with regard to other theft crimes and
- The specifics of the case in question
The penalties for a misdemeanor are usually 1-year in county jail and a fine of up to $1,000, while the penalties for a felony charge include up to 3-years in county jail and a fine of up to $10,000.Defenses against check fraud
If you are charged with check fraud, it is important that you find a defense attorney with experience and a good track record of success in check fraud defenses. The attorney will explore the following defense strategies on your behalf:
- You had no fraudulent intent
- An example of not having fraudulent intent to commit check fraud would be writing out a check with a certain amount of money, but not actually intending to cash it for yourself or for another person in for money.
- You did have consent/permission from the issuer of the check to alter the check
- If you were given the consent of the person who has the authority to alter the check to change it, then it is not considered check fraud. For example, if Jenny were to give you her consent to sign her name on the check, and you were to sign it with her permission, then that is not considered check fraud.
- It wasn’t you who altered the check
There are, of course, several other defense strategies that an accomplished defense attorney can use to defend your case.
Illegal activity having to do with check fraud can either be considered a misdemeanor or a felony depending on prior offenses and the case itself. If the value of the check that was forged was not very high and there aren’t any instances of identity theft present in the case, then it may be considered a misdemeanor, which is considered a minor offense.
If you are being investigated for check fraud is very important that you contact an attorney early on to protect your rights. Call our law office now to talk to a lawyer about your check fraud case.