Fraud and financial related criminal offenses like embezzlement and bad checks are often referred to as white collar crime. They range from serious accounting fraud and financial theft down to writing a bad check at the supermarket. You may be surprised at just how common offenses like fraud are but their frequency doesn’t necessarily make them any less serious.
If you are facing charges of credit card fraud or bad checks, you need to consult with a criminal defense lawyer. Together we can discuss the details of your case and how to best move forward.
Massachusetts Bad Checks Laws & Penalties
One of the most common financial fraud related charges is fraudulent or “bad” checks. You may be facing this charge if you passed a check on a closed account or one which had insufficient funds. If you receive notice that a check has “bounced”, you have two days to rectify the payment to the drawee before charges can be filed.
If the payment is not corrected in that timeframe you face larceny charges. Larceny is punishable by up to one years in jail for checks totaling $250 or less. If the amount exceeds $250, the potential penalty is elevated to a possible 5 years.
Ref: MGL c.266 §37
Credit Card Fraud
There are many ways to commit the offense commonly known as credit card fraud. Any of the following actions can be considered such a crime:
- Purposefully lying on a credit application about your financial situation,
- Using the identity of a fictitious person to obtain a line of credit,
- Taking a credit card that belongs to another person,
- Receiving a credit card that you know to be lost or stolen and making no attempt to return it,
- Signing a credit card that doesn’t belong to you,
- Obtaining goods and services using a credit card that doesn’t belong to you,
- Using a credit card that has been suspended or closed, or
- Receiving goods or services obtained using any of the methods above, even if the actual act was done by someone else.
Just as there are many offenses that can be considered credit card fraud or misuse, there are also many ways in which it can be sentenced. In general you can face up to 5 years for a charge like this.
In addition to potentially serving time in prison, you could be assessed fines and restitution to pay back the creditor or victim of the fraud.
Ref: MGL c.266 §37B, §37C
When your finances are in trouble, sometimes you are tempted to take drastic measures. Unfortunately, drastic measures like bad checks and credit card fraud can be devastating if you are caught. If the evidence against you is good, we may be able to work out a plea agreement with the prosecution.
However, if you are innocent of the charges against you, we can fight them together.
We will examine every aspect of your case from the very beginning to ensure we have covered all the bases. As your attorney, it would be my job to ensure your Constitutional rights are protected at every stage of the criminal courts process.
If you are facing charges like this or any other criminal charge—call me immediately for a free consultation.