Hartford Check Fraud Defense Lawyers
Legal defense against bad check charges in Hartford & Manchester, CT
Many of us have, without intent or malice, written a check that bounced. When this happens once or maybe twice over a lifetime, you don’t have much to worry about. However, when someone writes multiple bad checks, or intentionally writes checks knowing he or she has insufficient funds in the account, he or she may find himself/herself facing criminal charges. Penalties for check fraud convictions can include not only restitution, but jail time.
We understand that many people accused of check fraud are likely dealing with financial issues. Perhaps you’re dealing with the loss of a job, medical bills, or other pressure – but passing bad checks can quickly turn a personal situation into a criminal one. No matter the circumstances that led to your arrest and allegations against you, you need knowledgeable representation on your side.
The Hartford check fraud defense attorneys at Barry, Barall & Spinella, LLC have a strong track record of successful criminal defense, and can help fight the charges against you. We negotiate with the court on your behalf, working to have charges minimized or dropped, protecting your rights and your future. Call us today if you’ve been accused of writing bad checks, check fraud, or check kiting.
What is check fraud and check kiting?
Writing bad checks, also called check fraud or check kiting, is a crime under CGS § 53a-128. On occasion, it’s possible for anyone to mistakenly write a check his or her bank account can’t cover. This might happen due to a late paycheck, a forgotten auto-pay, or another unexpected situation. In most cases, your bank may penalize you with an overdraft fee and leave it at that.
However, if someone intentionally writes a check so he or she can defraud or scam another person or business, then that check is considered a bad check by the courts. The intent makes the action into a crime, and the perpetrator can face harsh legal consequences.
Examples of check fraud in Hartford
Check fraud can encompass much more than just writing and passing bad checks. Our attorneys also represent individuals charged with check fraud involving circumstances including:
- Bank check fraud occurs when a person writes or orders checks from a closed account.
- Cashier’s check fraud involves using bad cashier’s checks to pay for a product and returning the item for cash.
- Check cashing fraud is when a person cashes checks he or she knows are fraudulent, whether obtained by identity theft or other criminal activity.
- Check deposit schemes are when a person deposits a check for someone else, and then gives the other person cash and takes a commission.
- Check kiting is another form of fraud where an individual floats money from account to account by writing checks and creating fraudulent balances.
- Electronic check fraud occurs when a person creates fraudulent checks from account information stolen electronically. These crimes can result in other charges, including state or federal internet crimes.
- Fake check fraud is exactly what it sounds like – illegal and manufactured checks.
- Forging a check is when someone signs or endorses someone else’s name to a check.
- Payroll check fraud can involve creating or cashing fake payroll checks, and can also result in embezzlement
It’s important that, if you’re arrested for check fraud or bad checks, you understand the charges against you in order to launch an effective defense.
What are the penalties for check fraud?
Under Connecticut statute, the penalties for check fraud can be either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the amount of the check. If convicted of check fraud, you may face:
- Check $500 or less. Class C misdemeanor with a maximum sentence of three months in jail and a $500 fine
- Check more than $500 but no more than $1,000. Class B misdemeanor with a maximum sentence of six months in jail and a $1,000 fine
- Check more than $1,000 but no more than $2,000. Class A misdemeanor with a maximum sentence of one year in jail and a $2,000 fine
- Check more than $2,000. Class D felony with a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $5,000 fine
As you can see, an arrest for bad checks and check fraud can result in a felony conviction on your record. A criminal record can follow you around for the rest of your life, affecting your future ability to get a job, secure employment, and loss of some of your civil rights. The Hartford criminal defense attorneys at Barry, Barall & Spinella, LLC work zealously to avoid these harsh consequences, working to keep your record blemish-free.
Is it illegal to write a postdated check in CT?
No matter what you may have heard or what authorities tell you, it’s not against the law to write a postdated check in Hartford or across the state. Our criminal statute regarding bad checks reads, “…an issuer is presumed to know that the check or order, other than a postdated check or order, would not be paid.”
State law regarding bad checks don’t apply to postdated checks, as these checked are considered a promise to pay in the future. Most courts across the country, with a few exceptions, hold the opinion that postdated checks don’t fall within criminal check fraud laws.
However, it is still unlawful to write a check when you know you have insufficient funds to cover the amount. Our experienced lawyers can explain the difference and fight the charges against you.
Hartford bad check and check fraud defense attorneys
Remember, it is always upon the prosecution to provide the burden of proof that you knowingly and maliciously committed check fraud. At Barry, Barall & Spinella, LLC, we protect your rights and defend you vigorously against the charges against you. Whether it’s negotiating down to lesser charges or working to drop them altogether, we can help. Get in touch with us today. We’re located minutes off I-384 in Manchester. To schedule a consultation with one of our lawyers in Hartford or Manchester, please call 860-649-4400 or fill out our contact form.