From an account that has insufficient funds to cover a check, it is illegal to knowingly issue the check in California. As a misdemeanor and punishable by imprisonment for up to one year is passing bad checks in the amount of $950 or less under penal code 476a. Prosecutors may file the charge as a bad checks’ felony in the event the total amount of the bad checks is greater than $950, or the drawer has priors. A bad checks’ felony could result in a substantial prison sentence like any serious charge. With this in mind, we at Ajua Bail Bonds would like to further elaborate on laws concerning bad checks in California.
Bail for Bounced Check
Like being arrested for any crime, being arrested for violating bounced check laws will, typically within 24 hours, have the defendant appear in court and a judge will make a ruling regarding bail. In some cases, the judges will release defendants on the sole condition that they sign a promise to appear, however, other cases will result in the judge setting a monetary bail amount to ensure a defendant’s appearance in court. Generally, the bail amount is set relatively high, commonly the bail amount can be $5,000 or more. Bail bonds agencies, such as Ajua Bail Bonds, offer to post a defendant’s bail for a fraction of the actual bail amount, usually around 10% since most people do not have that much disposable cash. Even if the charges are dismissed or the defendant is found not guilty in a criminal trial, the defendant will not get any of this money back. But in the end, most will argue the investment is worth it.
Penalties for Bad Checks
Civil penalties as well as criminal ones can be applied to those that issue bad checks. Resulting in the drawer’s obligation to pay back both the check’s face value and a penalty charge, which can be as much as $35 for each check, if you knowingly writing a check with insufficient funds in California. There are quite a few consequences and penalties for issuing bad checks. People charged with writing bad checks will likely face legal expenses including bail, legal representation, and court fees in addition to the face value of the checks and the associated penalties.
Defenses to Penal Code 476a
To penal code 476a, there are a few viable defenses. Intent is the most important as it is required by the prosecution to prove the intention to deceive or defraud for the crime of issuing bad checks, as it only occurs when the drawer knowingly writes a bad check. Proving the defendant wrote a bad check is not easy, especially since the laws are not written to punish forgetful people. It is sometimes possible to avoid formal charges altogether, particularly since it is challenging for prosecutors to prove intent. With a good attorney, you can potentially avoid the criminal charges.
Bail for Misdemeanors & More in Selma & Fresno County, Atwater & Merced, Visalia & Tulare, Hanford & Kings, Madera County and the Central Valley of California
A serious crime that carries serious penalties is knowingly passing a bad check. Should you find that you been arrested for passing bad checks, be sure to call Ajua Bail Bonds as quickly as possible to get bailed out of jail fast so you can get with a reputable defense attorney and start building a defense!