Los Angeles Bad Check Lawyer – CPC 476a
California is a strong advocate of protecting its citizens from individuals who write bad checks. A bad check occurs when a person writes a check knowing there is insufficient funds to cover the entire amount of the check. Writing bad checks is a serious offense under the California Penal Code. If you or a loved one has been accused, arrested or charged with this offense, it is recommended that you contact West Covina criminal lawyer.
What the Prosecutor Must Prove to Convict You of Passing a Bad Check
California Penal Code Section 476a states that writing a bad check can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the facts surround the offense. In order to convict you of this offense, a prosecutor must be able to prove that there was a lack of sufficient funds at the time you wrote the check, and that you were fully aware of the insufficiency of funds and acted with the intent to defraud. The penalties for this offense vary, with a misdemeanor charge carrying up to 1 year in county jail, and a felony charge carrying up to 3 years in state prison. Additionally, civil penalties may also apply under California Civil Code Section 1719.
Defenses your West Covina Criminal Lawyer May Raise to a Bad Check Charge
However, just because you wrote a bad check does not mean that you are guilty of the crime. The first thing you need to do if you have been charged with writing a bad check is to hire a West Covina criminal lawyer to protect your legal rights. There are a variety of defenses that your West Covina criminal lawyer can raise on your behalf, including:
- Lack of knowledge: If you did not know that your account had insufficient funds, you are not guilty of writing a bad check.
- Identity theft: If you are the victim of an identity theft and the bad check was written by another individual who forged your signature, you are not guilty of this offense.
- Lack of intent: You may have post-dated the check because you were expecting another fund that failed to materialize. In such a situation where you did NOT INTEND to defraud the other person, you are not guilty of writing a bad check.
If you or someone you know has been charged with passing a bad check, contact an experienced West Covina criminal lawyer at Daniel V. Cota & Associates, P.C.. Attorney Cota may be able to raise a defense, like lack of knowledge or intent, to get the charges dismissed or reduced. To schedule a free consultation with a dedicated and experienced West Covina criminal lawyer, contact Daniel V. Cota & Associates, P.C. toll free at 800-351-6860.