If you are facing check fraud case, the criminal complaint could be adjudicated in the Municipal or the Superior Court. It is all dependent upon the category of the charges against you. Knowing the proper steps to take before and during the trial is imperative.
You need first to understand what the New Jersey laws define the offense versus what you did and how you can defend yourself. Our criminal defense attorneys at The Bianchi Law Group can guide you and represent you. They will make sure your rights are protected.
What Proof is Needed Before I’m Convicted for Check Fraud in New Jersey?
Just like in all other crimes of offenses, the prosecution must prove each element of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. According to N.J.S.A. 2C:21-5, a person who issues or passes a check or similar sight order for the payment of money, or authorizes an electronic funds transfer, knowing that it will not be honored by the drawee.
How is Check Fraud Classified and Penalized in New Jersey?
Check fraud is classified according to the amount of money involved in the crime. Higher amounts of money involved come with more punitive penalties. In other words, you can receive longer prison terms and higher fines.
Check Fraud or Bad Check Fraud is considered;
(1) a crime of the second degree if the amount of the check, money order, or electronic funds transfer is $75,000.00 or more;
(2) a crime of the third degree if the amount of the check, money order, or electronic funds transfer is $1,000.00 or more but is less than $75,000.00;
(3) a crime of the fourth degree if the amount of the check, money order, or electronic funds transfer is $200.00 or more but is less than $1,000.00;
(4) a disorderly persons offense if the amount of the check, money order, or electronic funds transfer is less than $200.00.
If you are found guilty of a second-degree crime, you face up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $150,000. For a third-degree crime, you face up to 5 years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000, and for a fourth-degree crime, you face up to 18 months in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. For a disorderly persons offense, you face up to six months in county jail and a fine of up to $1,000.00.
What Should I Do if I’m Charged with Check Fraud in New Jersey?
You can mitigate the penalties or defend yourself with several potential defenses against a check fraud charge in New Jersey. The defense available will depend on the circumstances of your case. Some relevant issues to explore are:
• The recipient had reason to know that you could not honor the check because of deficient funds in your account,
• The check was postdated,
• The recipient agreed to hold the check before depositing it,
• The check required two signatures, but it only had one,
• The recipient didn’t deposit the check promptly, or
• The check was illegible or incompletely filled out
Our Former Prosecutors at the Bianchi Law Group may be able to use several defense approaches for your check fraud case in New Jersey, which may include:
• Entering a plea bargain to reduce the charges and exposure,
• enrolling you in a diversionary program such as the conditional dismissal or the pre-trial intervention program,
• Humanizing you for the prosecutor or the court to mitigate consequences, or
• Filing legal motions to suppress evidence or dismiss the complaint or indictment.
I’ve Been Accused of Bad Checks in New Jersey. What Do I Do Now?
It is essential to know that any Bad Check or Check Fraud case in New Jersey is exceptionally serious and can result in you receiving life-changing penalties. Having the right legal team can provide you with the maximum benefits.
The Bianchi Law Group is comprised of a team of former prosecutors whose experience will provide you with a well-crafted defense. They will aggressively fight for your legal rights, not hesitate to bring your case to trial, and fight on your behalf to get you the best legal outcome possible. Having the proper legal defense in your corner can make all the difference.
Call the Bianchi Law Group today to discuss your case.