In Washington D.C., it is illegal to write a check when the person knows at the time of issuance that there are insufficient funds in the account to cover the amount of the check — or if the person writing the check will be stopping payment after it is issued.
At Lotze Mosley LLP, our fraud defense attorneys in Washington D.C. understand that often check fraud cases as not as straightforward as the definition describes, and requires an experienced lawyer to produce solutions for those who are charged with financial crime.
What Are The Most Common Examples of Check Fraud?
Before the digital age, checks took much longer to clear, as the time between writing the check and the time it took for the recipient to deposit/redeem the check took several days, if not over a week.
To help combat check fraud, financial institutions are submitting checks electronically within the same day they are written, so there is little room for error when writing checks for any purpose that cannot be honored.
No matter how long it takes for a check to clear, if the funds are not available upon issuing the check it is called check floating — which is illegal and can result in serious charges.
Other examples of check fraud or check scams include:
- Counterfeiting or alteration of checks
- Check kiting or bank kiting
- Demand drafts
- Online check fraud
- Paperhanging, or writing checks on a closed account
- Third-party payment services
When someone is charged with check fraud, the charges are often amended to include additional fraud charges that relate to their crime — especially when they are writing illegal checks from another person’s account.
Additional Charges That Can Accompany Check Fraud
If the checks have been stolen from or written by an individual pretending to be the account holder, that person can be charged with a combination of theft, forgery, and check fraud.
Depending on the circumstances, other possible charges associated with check fraud can include:
- Identity theft
- Money order fraud
If you’ve been charged with a form of check deception, the consequences can be very serious and result in potential jail time, depending on the circumstances associated with your crime. Our criminal defense attorneys in Washington D.C. will provide straightforward answers regarding the penalties you face, and develop solutions that provide the best outcome available for your case.
What Are The Penalties For Washington D.C. Check Fraud?
Each Washington D.C. check fraud case is unique. And so are the penalties that relate to the charges.
For instance, if the check is:
- Written for $1,000 or less, it could be a misdemeanor with a possible penalty of up to 180 days in jail or a $1,000 fine
- Written for $1,000 or more, it could be a felony with a possible penalty of one to three years imprisonment or a fine of up to $3,000
The more serious the allegations — including whether additional charges are filed with the check fraud charge, and the accused’s previous criminal record — the more severe the penalties.
They can include:
- Jail time
Depending on the particular facts of the case, your check fraud defense options will vary. Contact our accomplished check fraud attorneys at Lotze Mosley LLP in Washington D.C. today at (202) 759-7739 to establish what the charges in your case mean to your future, and how we can pursue the best outcome available for your unique circumstances.