Atlantic City Check Fraud Defense Lawyer N.J.S.A. § 2C:21-5
Check fraud under Section § 2C:21-5 of the New Jersey Code of Criminal Justice involves issuing bad checks as payment for goods and services. This may appear to be a relatively minor offense considering that most people have probably bounced a check or two at least once in their lives. However, depending on the amount of money a bad check was made out for, your charges could be very serious. Defendants convicted of check fraud in Atlantic City may face penalties as small as fines or as severe as jail time.
If you are charged with or stand accused of check fraud, you should contact an attorney immediately. The consequences may range from mild to extremely harsh and you will need a lawyer to help you determine what penalties you face and how to best defend yourself in court. Reach out to our experienced Atlantic City check fraud defense attorney at the Law Offices of John J. Zarych. Call (609) 616-4956 to schedule a legal consultation free of charge.
Defining Check Fraud in Atlantic City
In Atlantic City, a person commits check fraud when they issue a check as payment of money, knowing that the check is bad. The check could be issued anywhere to anyone to constitute fraud, but it most often occurs in retail and business transactions. Accidentally bouncing a check is not check fraud and is not a criminal offense. However, if you try to use a bad check knowing the money is not there to back it up, you have committed check fraud. Law enforcement and prosecutors will examine the evidence and circumstances surrounding your case to determine if you knew the check was bad.
Someone who issues a fraudulent check is presumed by the court to have known the check was bad if certain circumstances exist. Knowledge of the bad check is presumed when the defendant had no account on which to draw funds, or if the defendant fails to make good the bad check in at least 10 days after being notified that payment was declined. Once this knowledge is presumed, it is up to the defendant to prove that they lacked any knowledge that the check was bad. If you have issued a bad check and are facing charges of check fraud, call our experienced Atlantic City check fraud defense attorney so we can help your case.
Check Fraud Penalties in Atlantic City
The penalties and punishments for issuing fraudulent checks in Atlantic City range from insignificant to severe, depending on the value of the fraudulent checks. For check fraud under $200, the charges will only be a disorderly persons offense and you will likely only pay a fine or serve minimal jail time. If the bad check is worth more than $200 and under $1,000, you may be charged with a crime of the fourth degree punishable by no more than 18 months in prison. Check fraud involving an amount of $1,000 or more and under $75,000 will be a third-degree crime and punishable by incarceration for 3 to 5 years. Finally, check fraud involving $75,000 or more will be a second-degree crime and punishable by 5 to 10 years in prison. The penalties for check fraud are commensurate with the amount of money defrauded from the victim.
If a defendant has issued multiple bad checks, they may face charges for each bad check that was issued. Multiple bad checks mean multiple potential prison terms. For example, one fraudulent check for $500 is punishable by up to 18 months in prison. However, three fraudulent checks each worth $500 will be charged as three separate offenses, each with a prison term of up to 18 months, adding up to a maximum of 54 months, or four and half years, in prison. One small bad check may not seem like a huge deal, but multiple larger checks will quickly turn into a very serious problem.
The penalties for check fraud could simply be fines or years behind bars. If you have been charged with check fraud, it is crucial that you speak to an attorney about your rights and how you can defend yourself in court. Call our experienced Atlantic City check fraud defense attorney at the Law Offices of John J. Zarych for help.
Defenses to Check Fraud in Atlantic City
People issue bad checks all the time. Most people have probably accidentally bounced a check before. The key element of check fraud is that the defendant knew the check was bad when they issued it. The defendant issued a bad check as payment for a good or service knowing that the vendor would not receive the payment due to them. This means that a good defense for check fraud charges involves proving that you did not know the check was bad when it was issued. Contact our experienced Atlantic City check fraud defense attorney to discuss the details of your case.
Prosecutors will presume your knowledge of the bad check if there was no bank account connected to the check from which money could be drawn or if you failed to correct a bad check after being notified that payment was declined. Possible defenses include demonstrating that there was a valid bank account connected to the check, and the lack of funds was due to some mistake or oversight. You could also argue that you never received notice that payment was declined, so you could not have had an opportunity to correct the bad check. If either of these circumstances or a similar circumstance applies to your case, please call out experienced Atlantic City check fraud defense attorney at the Law Offices of John J. Zarych immediately.
Call Our Atlantic City Check Fraud Defense Lawyer for a Free Legal Consultation
Charges of check fraud may land you with fines and possible prison time in Atlantic City. Please do not take these charges lightly because they can lead to very serious consequences. If you or someone you know has been charged with or accused of check fraud, contact our experienced Atlantic City check fraud defense attorney at the Law Offices of John J. Zarych. Call (609) 616-4956 to schedule a free legal consultation with a skilled lawyer who can help your case.