According to Chester County law, which is inclusive of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, check fraud is exactly what it says. Check fraud is fraudulently using another’s information for the presentment of an otherwise monetary instrument such as a check. Check fraud often involves the crimes of theft, receiving stolen property and, in some cases, theft of services and, in most cases, forgery. The forgery comes into play when the check or commercial instrument is signed unlawfully and the theft or receiving stolen property comes into play when the presentment leads to individuals and commercial institutions such as banks having lawsuits as a result of such.
Check fraud means either the unlawful use of another’s check or legal instrument to obtain funds that they would not otherwise be allowed to obtain or, creating a check or a monetary instrument in a fraudulent manner and presenting such as any proper instrument to obtain monetary value and/or funds from an individual or commercial institution. This type of fraud has occurred and can be prosecuted to the most extreme limits of the law.
In this case, it would be graded as a felony in the third degree and the individual can serve as much three and one-half to seven years’ incarceration and a $15,000 fine. For facing accusations or any of these charges, contact a distinguished fraud attorney who can help protect your rights. A Chester County check fraud lawyer has the knowledge and experience to help you prepare for trial.
Check fraud involves a number of other crimes. To commit check fraud, an individual is committing some sort of theft or receiving stolen property combined with the crime of forgery as, in order to present an instrument, it must be signed or authorized. The crimes of forgery, theft and receiving stolen property are almost always apparent in check fraud cases. However, other crimes may also come into play. Should a check be stolen from an individual, the crime of theft from an individual, theft from a motor vehicle or robbery may also come into play. The means of which the unlawful user obtained the check, impacts any crime which could also be charged.
Additionally, should an individual break into another’s home and steal a checkbook and present it, the crime of burglary or criminal trespass also comes into play. By definition, check fraud incorporates specifically its own crimes and any other crime which can be attached to the theft of items specifically.
When check fraud is graded as a felony in the third degree in Chester County, the crime is punishable for as much as three and one-half to seven years’ incarceration and a $15,000 fine. However, any other charges associated with the check fraud can also add to the incarceration sentence as well as stiff penalties. Restitution often comes into play whether or not an institution is out of specific funds. Therefore, if a check for $500,000 is presented to an institution and it is frozen, albeit maybe not delivered, restitution could be in that amount. It is essential to have the right Chester County check fraud lawyer at the right time help the person when charged with such a crime.
Thousands of dollars are at stake and long periods of incarceration come into play. Additionally, these types of cases can carry misdemeanor charges which can also carry sentences of as high as two and one-half to five years’ incarceration and a $10,000 fine. When these charges add up, a person faces felony charges, which can impact their future, as well as long incarceration sentences and thousands of dollars in fines and costs.
When defending a check fraud case, whether the person had authorization or not is key. Should an individual waive the defense that they were authorized to present such check, then evidence must be gathered at the earliest possible time to corroborate that. Therefore, a person should have all evidence or at least ideas of what evidence needs to be obtained and preserved to defend their case. Only then can a Chester County check fraud lawyer become effective and the case lead to a promising disposition.