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Penal Code 476a Writing or Passing Bad Check

May 15, 2019 | Criminal Law

According to California Penal Code 476a it is illegal to make, attempt to make, write, pass, and attempt to pass, posses, use or attempt to use an altered, fake or forged check in order to defraud another person or businesses.

Elements of Penal Code 476a Writing or Passing Bad Check

Prosecutor must establish the following element to prove that the defendant is guilty of passing bad checks:

  • Defendant deliberately wrote, delivered and attempted to use a check on a bank, person or business for the payment of money
  • Defendant acted for his behalf or on behalf of another person
  • Defendant had insufficient funds to cover the full payment of the check
  • Defendant was aware that there were insufficient funds in the account
  • Defendant did this with the intention to defraud another person

What Does Attempt to Use Mean?

Attempt to use a check means representing it as a genuine or real. The representation or statement can be made by conducts or words and can be made directly or indirectly.

“Intent to Defraud” in Penal Code 276a Charges

The prosecutor must prove the defendant’s intentions to defraud the recipient of the money or other property. Defendant doesn’t necessarily must be successful in his attempt to be considered guilty.

Legal Defenses to Penal Code 476a

Some legal defenses to Penal Code 476a are as follows:

  • Defendant acted under duress

In case the defendant didn’t willfully write, deliver or attempt to use a bad check, he can’t be found guilty for violating PC Section 476a.  Thus if the defendant only wrote or delivered the check because he was coerced into doing so by fraud or threats of violence then he hasn’t willfully violated California’s bad checks law.

  • Defendant honestly believed he had sufficient funds or he had an overdraft protection

A conviction for this offense cannot be obtained in case the defendant can prove that he had reasonable knew he had an overdraft protection or honestly believed he had enough funds to cover the check.

  • Defendant post-dated the check or otherwise communicated to the payee

Glendale Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you or a loved one have been arrested or charged for Penal Code 476a Writing or Passing Bad Check and seek aggressive defense, we invite you to contact our Glendale criminal defense lawyer for a free consultation.