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Check Fraud Charges in San Diego County
Check Fraud Charges – Penal Code 476
You have been arrested and charged under P.C 476 for forging a check, the payor’s name on the check, or altering the amount of the check. Check fraud is a very serious offense, it is imperative that you become aware of the options that are available to you so that you are not convicted as a felon for the rest of your life.
What is check fraud charges under P.C. 476?
It is the making or attempt to make, pass, utter, or publish a check with the intent to defraud any other person in order obtain cash, property or services.
Who may be charged under P.C. 476?
The person who made the fraudulent check, the person who passed the fraudulent check, and/or the person in possession of the fraudulent check.
What is a fraudulent check?
A check is fraudulent if the check is fake, altered, or forged with fraudulent intent.
How is check fraud charged?
In the state of California check fraud is a wobbler offense that can be charged as either a felony or a misdemeanor. The prosecution will make the determination based on the person’s criminal history, the existence of previous theft crimes and the specific circumstances of the instant case.
What must the prosecution prove to convict a person of check fraud charges?
The prosecution must prove that the person had knowledge that the check was fictitious or altered and had the intent to defraud another person when he or she made, passed, uttered, or published the check as a payment.
What are the punishments for a misdemeanor P.C. 476 conviction?
A person convicted of misdemeanor check fraud may face a maximum fine of $1,000 and up to one year in county jail.
What are the punishments for a felony P.C. 476 conviction?
A person convicted of felony check fraud may face a maximum fine of $10,000 and either sixteen months, or two or three years in state prison.
What defenses are available to P.C 476 charges?
A person charged with check fraud charges has three possible defenses, lack of intent, mistaken identity, or consent.
P.C. 476 is a specific intent crime, which means that the person must have the intent to commit a fraud in order to be convicted of fraud. If the person did not have the intent to commit a fraud, the person cannot be convicted for making, passing, or altering a fraudulent check.
Mistaken identity may be a defense for a person who did not know that the check was fictitious or altered when he or she passed the check that a third party fraudulently made. The person cannot be convicted for passing a fraudulent check that he or she believed to be genuine.
Lastly, an alteration of a check made with the consent of the maker of the check is not fraudulent. If the defense can prove that the person altered the check with the maker’s permission then no fraud took place.
If you have any other questions or would like to know if any of these defenses can be applied to your specific check fraud charges, contact Monder Law Group at 619.405.0063. We are an experienced San Diego Criminal Law firm with experience handling fraud cases. Allow Criminal Defense Attorney Vik Monder to review the specifics of your case and find the best strategy for your defense.