Just because you wrote a check that bounced, that does not mean you are guilty of a crime. The crime of passing a bad check requires that you wrote a check with the knowledge that your account had insufficient funds and with the intent to commit fraud [California Penal Code 476].
Contact a Los Angeles Bad Check Defense Lawyer Today!
If you have been arrested for passing a bad check, it is critical that you protect your rights by retaining an experienced criminal defense attorney. For a vigorous defense, contact the Law Offices of Daniel R. Perlman in Los Angeles. We defend clients accused of writing a bad check, check forgery, and other check, fraud and theft offenses. Call 213-514-8324 or contact us by e-mail
Misdemeanor and Felony Charges for Bad Checks in Los Angeles
In California, some criminal charges may be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony by the prosecution. Passing a bad check is one such offense. However, the general rule is that passing a bad check is a misdemeanor if the check’s value was $450 or less. If the defendant has a prior bad check conviction, the offense may be charged as a felony even if the value of the check was less than $450.
Defenses to Writing a Bad Check in Los Angeles
Our experienced defense attorneys can raise a variety of defenses on your behalf if you have been charged with a bad check offense, including:
- Lack of knowledge: If you did not realize that your account had insufficient funds, you are not guilty of passing a bad check.
- Identity theft: In some cases, a defendant may actually have been the victim of identity theft and another individual has forged his or her name on a check.
- Lack of intent: You may have post-dated the check. You may have been expecting a paycheck or other funds that did not materialize. If you did not intend to defraud (cheat) anyone, you are not guilty of passing a bad check.
Many counties now have bad check diversion programs. Such programs allow defendants to pay the amount they owe to the parties to whom the checks were paid, attend educational classes and after a specified time, the charges may be dismissed entirely. Even in counties that do not offer diversion programs, we may be able to negotiate a resolution on behalf of our clients which help them avoid a criminal conviction or at the very least minimize the penalties they receive.
To schedule a free consultation with one of our Los Angeles bad checks lawyers, call 213-514-8324 or contact us by e-mail.