It has been an unusually bad flu season and this year you caught it and could not work for a week. Then, the rent came due and your bank account had a huge hole in it; you simply did not have the money in your account to cover the rent. But you were expecting your income tax refund at any time to save the day. Desperate, you wrote a check because you figured you could buy a few more days before having to have THAT conversation with the landlord. Your income tax has a mistake, the return is rejected -- delaying your refund -- and your check bounces. Your landlord is fuming and files charges. Now what?
When is Check Fraud a Class C Felony in Washington?
Your rent check is for $800. In Washington, a bad check or an “unlawful issuance of a bank check” written in an amount higher than $750 is considered a Class C felony. If you were found to have intentionally written a bad check over $750 and are convicted of this charge, penalties are serious.
Intention is an important element. If the prosecution can prove you intentionally wrote a check that you knew your bank account could not sustain, you could face up to five years in prison and a fine of $10,000. Check fraud may also happen when you write a check without ever intending for it to clear. This means your charges stem from writing a check and then stopped payment on it. To make certain you protect your rights, your first call should be to meet with an experienced criminal defense attorney who understands check fraud charges.
There are instances where you can face a felony charge if the check you wrote was under $750 but was written in a sequence with other checks -- for instance, you also made checks to your electric company, your cable provider, and to the grocery store. In these circumstances, the court could combine the values of all the checks written if you wrote them intentionally knowing you did not have the funds. When that total value exceeds $750, a felony charge will be levied.
What to Do if You Are Charged with Writing a Bad Check?
Felony bank fraud is a serious crime with penalties that are life-changing. If you have been arrested for or charged with writing a bad check or multiple bad checks, first of all, do not make any statements about your charges or your case to anyone. Whatever you say could hurt your case, regardless of how trustworthy the person is. Second, reach out to Karimi Law Office for help. You need an attorney who understands check fraud law and who can make sure no mistakes will be made in your case.
Steve Karimi has years of experience as a prosecutor. Today, he helps people just like you overcome their criminal charges. Now is the time to preserve your constitutional rights and get the advice you need for the best results possible. Contact Steve Karimi at 206-621-8777 to schedule your consultation today.