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Check Fraud

Check Fraud in Nevada (NRS 205.130)

bad checks fraudWriting bad checks is a serious offense in Nevada and it can subject you to criminal and civil penalties. The District Attorney’s office has a whole office in the courthouse in Las Vegas dedicated to chasing after people who have written bad checks.

A great Las Vegas criminal defense lawyer can work to reduce the charges against you or even get them dismissed. The Bad Checks unit is most interested in getting the check paid, rather than putting someone in jail (although jail time is a real possibility).

Contact LV Criminal Defense to get your defense started if you have been arrested for writing a bad check in Nevada.

Nevada Legal Definition of a Bad Check

There are two ways a check can be considered “bad” in Nevada:

  • the person writing the check willfully intended to defraud another person or company at the time the check was written; or
  • the check writer has reason to expect that the check would be returned for insufficient funds by the time the holder of the check tries to cash it.

The intent to defraud another person or company may be assumed in Nevada bad check cases.

Other crimes involving intent, such as mortgage fraud, require the state to prove that you acted on purpose and not innocently or accidentally. In bad check cases, the opposite is true. There is a built in assumption that you intended to defraud someone if the funds are not available when the check is cashed.

Whether this assumption is fair and constitutional is still being decided in the courts, but for now, this is the law. Therefore, your best bet is to hire experienced legal counsel as soon as possible if the District Attorney contacts you about a bad check you may have written.

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Penalties for writing bad checks in Las Vegas

The criminal penalties for writing a bad check depend on the amount of money involved.

  • For a check less than $650, the offense is punishable as a misdemeanor, which carries 6 months or less in jail and up to $1,000 in fines;
  • For amounts over $650, the offense is a Category D felony. This may mean prison time up to 4 years and fines up to $5,000.

Just like other bad debt crimes such as unpaid casino markers, the court will also order restitution for the amount of the check. The District Attorney may also charge fees for collection and investigation of the case.

Plea Deals in Nevada Bad Check Cases

The District Attorney’s highest priority in bad check cases is collecting the debt the check was supposed to pay. Many cases can be dismissed if a payment plan is set up. Nick Wooldridge – your criminal lawyer – can help negotiate a plea deal like this to get the bad check charges dismissed. Give the seriousness of a bad checks conviction; you should leave the negotiation up to the pros by hiring a qualified Las Vegas bad checks defense lawyer.

More Information

If you have been arrested for check fraud in Las Vegas, retain an experienced defense counsel as soon as possible. A criminal attorney at LV Criminal Defense can explain your rights and work with the District Attorney to lower the penalties and possibly even the amount of restitution owed.

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