White Collar Defense: Fraud By Check
If you have been accused of fraud by check, you have the right to fight the charges. An experienced attorney can help. At Pearson & Paris, P.C., we have more than 50 years of combined legal experience that we will use in your defense. Perhaps more importantly, our top criminal defense attorney is a former senior prosecutor who knows how district attorneys handle these cases. That knowledge allows us to create effective strategies ranging from negotiation to courtroom battles.
Whether in the Denver area or anywhere in Colorado, fraud by check generally occurs when a person who knows he or she has insufficient funds in the bank, with the intent to defraud, issues a check for payment of services, wages, salary, commissions, labor, rent, money, property or another thing of value. Fraud by check is a class 6 felony when the amount of the dishonored check is $1,000 or more or when the check is written on a closed account.
Possible Consequences For Fraud By Check
Fraud by check is a class 6 felony and may result in the following sentencing options: (1) probation, with a possible jail sentence as a condition of probation of up to 90 days, or up to a two-year work release sentence as a condition of probation, or (2) a sentence to the Department of Corrections of one (1) year up to 18 months, but as much as three years if the court finds the presence of exceptional circumstances, with a mandatory parole period of one year.
Possible Defenses For Fraud By Check
The general approach to defending a fraud by check case is to focus on whether the person knew that he or she had insufficient funds with the bank or that the account was closed. With respect to the first defense of knowing that there were insufficient funds, it becomes necessary to scrutinize bank records to determine whether at the time the check was written there were sufficient funds on deposit. This analysis will look at how many checks were written for what amounts, when those checks cleared, how many deposits were made, in what amount, when those were posted as good funds, whether the person kept an accurate and up-to-date check register, whether the person tracked the account balance online, and whether the person received overdraft notices from the bank immediately prior to writing additional checks on an overdrawn account.
The second inquiry deals with whether the person had an intent to defraud the recipient of the check. Here it is critical to explore the business relationship between the person and the recipient. Was the person counting on an imminent regular deposit to be made in the account at the time the check was written on insufficient funds?
The third inquiry deals with writing the check on the closed account. Here it would be important to determine whether this was a joint account and the precise circumstances under which the account was closed. Did one spouse fail to communicate to the other that the account had been closed? If so, the person may have acted neither knowingly nor with an intent to defraud.
The remaining defenses that may be applied in a motor vehicle theft case apply with equal force to those that may apply in any other criminal case. This includes an analysis of any violation of constitutional rights, such as the right to remain silent, the right to counsel, the right to have any searches and seizures based on probable cause, a proper warrant, and the right to due process in the proper preservation of evidence that may be used against you. Many other defenses are available that rely on scrutinizing and exposing weaknesses in the prosecutor’s case, such as biased or incompetent witnesses, flawed crime scene investigation, flawed administration and procedures in collecting breath, blood or urine for forensic testing, incompetent computer evidence, flawed photo lineups and inaccurate crime scene/accident reconstructions.
It is important that you hire a skilled and experienced criminal defense lawyer to defend you in a fraud by check crime case in Lakewood or Jefferson County or across Colorado.