Are you facing check fraud charges in West Chester, PA? The penalties of a conviction can include jail time, fines, and collateral consequences that may impact your future freedom. However, you likely still have time to fight back with the assistance of a criminal defense attorney.
At DiCindio Law, LLC, our West Chester check fraud lawyer has over a decade of experience practicing criminal law. Attorney Michael DiCindio is a former Chester County prosecutor, giving him and our legal team insight into how the other side tries their cases. Beginning today, we can put our resources, experience, and skills to work for you.
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How DiCindio Law, LLC, Can Help If You Were Charged With Check Fraud in West Chester, PA
Check fraud is a serious offense in West Chester, Pennsylvania, as it may be charged as a felony depending on the facts of the case. A felony conviction on your criminal record can make it difficult to obtain housing or employment. And as a white-collar crime, the damage to your reputation may be difficult to overcome.
Hiring an experienced West Chester white-collar crimes lawyer to represent you could make all the difference in offering your best defense. If you choose DiCindio Law, LLC, you’ll benefit from the services of an award-winning attorney. Our founding lawyer has been recognized by Super Lawyers on three separate occasions and was named among the 10 Best for Client Satisfaction by the American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys – just to name a few of his accolades.
We can help defend you in the following ways:
- Conducting legal research and investigatory work to determine the defenses best suited for your case
- Negotiating with the prosecution to have your check fraud charges reduced or dismissed if possible
- Explaining your legal rights and options as your case develops
- Bringing your case all the way to trial if that’s what’s in your best interest
Time is of the essence if you were charged with check fraud. Contact us today to schedule your free case evaluation if you’re ready to get started.
Check Fraud Law in Pennsylvania
Chapter 41 within Title 18 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes covers criminal offenses related to fraud and forgery. Within Chapter 41, two primary sections pertain to check fraud.
§ 4101 – Forgery
Section 4101 covers one way you may be charged with check fraud in West Chester, Pennsylvania. Under this section, it is illegal when a person:
- Alters any writing of another person without their authority; AND
- Makes, completes, executes, authenticates, issues or transfers any writing so that it purports to be the act of another who did not authorize that act, or to have been executed at a time or place or in a numbered sequence other than was in fact the case, or to be a copy of an original when no such original existed; OR
- Utters any writing that the person knows is forged in a manner described in the two points above
The prosecution must establish that you either intended to defraud someone or knew you were facilitating fraud committed by someone else.
§ 4105 – Bad Checks
Under Section 4105, passing or issuing a check that you know will not be honored by the drawee (meaning a bank or other financial institution) is illegal. The drawee must also be located within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for the prosecution to assert this charge. However, it need not be the case that the fraudulent acts took place within Pennsylvania.
The prosecution must establish every element of your charges “beyond a reasonable doubt” in order to secure a conviction, regardless of which section you’ve been charged under. This is the highest burden of proof standard in the law, leaving significant room for a skilled West Chester check fraud attorney to form an effective defense.
What Penalties Can Result From a Check Fraud Conviction in West Chester?
The penalties you could face from a check fraud conviction in West Chester, Pennsylvania, depend on many factors. The section(s) of Chapter 41 that your charges fall under, your criminal history (if applicable), and the facts of your case are a few examples.
Charges under § 4101 may be asserted as either a second-degree felony, third-degree felony, or first-degree misdemeanor, depending on the circumstances involved in the situation. The associated penalties can include up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000.
Charges based on § 4105 may be brought anywhere from a summary offense to a third-degree felony, largely based on the value of the fraudulent check. For instance, the prosecution can bring third-degree felony charges if the value of the check is $75,000 or more.
On the low end, the charge may be a summary offense if the value of the check is less than $200. However, depending on the case, even a summary offense conviction can result in jail time.
What Defenses Can I Raise Against My Check Fraud Charges in West Chester, Pennsylvania?
The defenses you can raise against your West Chester check fraud charges will depend on the facts of your case and the prosecution’s evidence against you. Possibilities include, but are not limited to, the following:
- You did not have the required state of mind (either intent or knowledge) at the time of the alleged offense
- Your constitutional rights were violated, such as via an illegal search and seizure of evidence
- It was a case of mistaken identity, or you have an alibi for an incident in question
With over 10 years of experience defending clients against criminal charges, our lead attorney is well-suited to craft the best defenses for the case at hand. We’ll work hard to investigate your circumstances and determine your best course of action.
Schedule a Free Consultation With an Experienced West Chester Check Fraud Lawyer
Were you arrested and charged with check fraud in West Chester, Pennsylvania? You deserve a criminal defense attorney who will put you and your interests first. Contact DiCindio Law, LLC, today to schedule a free consultation with our seasoned West Chester check fraud lawyer.