One of the most common types of check fraud occurs when individuals write bad checks, or “bounce” checks. This means that either a person writes a check to another or to a business for goods and services knowing that there is insufficient funds in the bank account with which to cover the check, or uses the “float” time between writing the check and the person cashing the check to defund the account so that there are insufficient funds to cover the check. Under Texas law, this type of check fraud is illegal, and it is normally a Class C misdemeanor.
Other types of check fraud may include the following:
· Pass off a check belonging to another person as their own
· Steal an unsigned check belonging to another person
· Present false identification in order to pose as the owner of a check
Penalties for these types of check fraud vary, but the consequences for a conviction can be severe. For instance, forging a check can result in a state jail felony charge, which can result in anywhere from 180 days to two years in jail. Stealing another person’s check is a Class A misdemeanor, which can result in a jail sentence of up to one year and a fine of up to $4,000.
Furthermore, check fraud often accompanies other similar fraud charges. For example, if an individual uses false identification in order to pass a bad check, then he or she may be charged with identity theft in addition to check fraud. Multiple convictions clearly can bring about even more harsh penalties.
Modern technology has made it even easier for law enforcement officials to catch those who commit the various forms of check fraud. Security cameras can capture footage of individuals passing checks belonging to others. Owners of stolen checks may alert banking institutions to look out for anyone attempting to pass those checks. The bank also may freeze the owner’s account in order to prevent further bad checks being written.
The criminal defense lawyers of Peek & Toland have handled the legal defense of countless individuals who are facing criminal charges, including check fraud and similar charges. We are here to protect your rights and advocate on your behalf in order to get the best outcome possible in your case. Call our office today at (512) 474-4445 to set up an appointment with our criminal defense attorneys today.