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Is passing bad checks a crime in California?

Financial struggles can strike just about anyone, at any time. In times of economic hardship, it is not uncommon for funds in bank accounts to be low and when this happens, it is possible for checks to bounce. It is understandable that bouncing checks can effect a person's credit rating but are passing bad checks considered a crime in California?

Unfortunately, there is more than one answer for this kind of problem. Intent is often key when it comes to determining if a bounced check was a simple mistake or allegedly done on purpose. Even if intent to pass a bad check wasn't involved, the victim in this scenario may still have the right to pursue legal remedies. In many situations, these issues can be resolved in a small claims civil court; however, depending on the circumstances it can be passed on to criminal court.

Those who have been accused of passing bad checks in California can face criminal charges. These can be misdemeanor or felony charges, depending on the amount of money involved. The potential consequences for passing a bad check or check fraud include fines and possibly jail and/or prison time.

As with all criminal accusations, anyone facing allegations of check fraud retains the right to defend themselves in court. There is no questioning that the penalties for passing bad checks in California can be quite severe, and those accused of this -- particularly those who are facing criminal charges -- would likely benefit from seeking legal counsel in a timely manner. An experienced criminal attorney will be able to thoroughly review and question any evidence offered against the accused. Doing so may produce information that could help resolve the situation in a positive way.

Source: FindLaw, "Is It Illegal to Bounce a Check?", Stephanie Rabiner, Dec. 10, 2014

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Former Criminal Prosecutor With Proven Results