What is considered check fraud?
Check fraud is a serious criminal offense that involves the use of checks to illegally acquire funds or assets that do not belong to you. Banks have a strong interest in preventing this type of crime and the fraudulent use of banking systems so they will punish you as harshly as they can in order to deter others from similar crimes. Contact Chicago criminal defense lawyer Michael Schmiege if you are facing charges for check fraud in Illinois.
Check fraud results in harsh penalties for cheating a bank out of money or other property through the fraudulent use of a check. The more money that the offender obtains, and the more complex his or her scheme for obtaining the funds, the harsher the punishment is likely to be. Any previous convictions for check fraud, financial institution fraud, or similar offenses can even add to your punishment. A defense attorney experienced in check fraud cases could explain the nature of your charge to you, along with the penalties you face and your alternatives to prison time or heavy fines.
Types of Check Fraud
Some activities that could land you a felony check fraud charge:
- Writing a bad check
- Floating a check
- Kiting a check
- Forging a check
The Penalties for Check Fraud Offenses:
- $300 or less: Class A misdemeanor with up to 1 year in jail and a fine up to $25,000. But if you have a previous conviction for check fraud or a similar offense, your charge becomes a Class 4 felony punishable by up to 3 years in state prison and/or a fine up to $25,000.
- $301 to $10,000: Class 3 felony with by up to 5 years in prison and/or a fine up to $25,000.
- $10,001 and $100,000: Class 2 felony with up to 7 years in prison and/or a fine up to $25,000.
- $100,001 or more: Class 1 felony with up to 15 years in prison and/or a fine up to $25,000.
Victims of check fraud also have a legal right to seek redress by means of civil lawsuits. So offenders face not only the criminal penalties listed above, but also the possibility of a civil court verdict that requires payment of civil damages up to triple the amount of the bad check, plus payment of attorneys’ fees and court costs.
Contact a Skilled Chicago Theft Crimes Attorney
Attorney Michael P. Schmiege understands that most acts of check fraud are acts of financial desperation and critical need in these difficult economic times. If you’ve made a mistake or shown some bad judgment while trying to cope with difficult financial straits, The Law Offices of Michael P. Schmiege could help you minimize the damage to your life and reputation so that you can start clean again. Every criminal case and its circumstances are as unique the individual charged with the crime. Our firm can examine the specific circumstances of the charge against you and help you to understand your available legal options.
Contact Chicago criminal defense attorney Michael Schmiege for your free case evaluation and legal consultation today. His criminal defense experience and legal knowledge of the laws surrounding check fraud could help you minimize the impact of your offense and find a fresh start in life.