DC Criminal Defense Lawyer

Bad Checks / Fraud


Fraud, bad checks, and financial crimes are often referred to as white collar crimes. They are crimes that involve deceit and taking something you may not be entitled to. While they are considered a non-violent charge, they can carry pretty serious criminal charges and sentences, similar to theft offenses.

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For most people, it is the first time you’ve faced criminal charges. Whether you are completely innocent of this charge, or if you made a mistake at a time of desperation and deeply regret your bad judgement, I can help. I will make sure the court treats you fairly, and your rights as a defendant are protected.  You are innocent until proven guilty. And many cases are winnable, regardless of the circumstances that got you here.

Contact me today if you’re facing charges of fraud, bad checks, forgery, or any other similar offense in DC Courts.

Washington DC Fraud – Laws & Penalties

First Degree Fraud

Fraud in the 1st degree is defined as engaging in a course of conduct with intent to defraud another of their property by false or fraudulent representation or promise and obtains the property or causes them to lose it.

If the value of the fraud is more than $250, you could face up to 10 years in prison and fines of $5,000 or three times the value of the property lose, whichever is more.

But, if the value is less than $250, your potential sentence is up to 180 days and fines reaching $1,000.

Fraud in the Second Degree

Second degree fraud is the applicable charge if you engage in a course of conduct with intent to defraud or obtain property of another by false pretense or representation. Unlike first degree fraud, you don’t have to cause the other person to lose their property, merely intend it.

If convicted of 2nd degree fraud and the value of the intended fraud is more than $250, you will face up to 3 years in prison and fines of $3,000 or three times the value of the property. If the value is less than $250, you could be up against a potential 180 sentence and fines reaching $1,000.

Ref: DC Code 22-3221

Credit Card Fraud

Credit card fraud can be committed in a number of ways including using a credit card that has been cancelled or closed, representing yourself as the owner of the card when you are not, using an altered credit card.

Generally, this offense is a misdemeanor which is punishable by up to 180 days in jail and $1,000 in fines. However, if the fraud is valued at more than $1,000 you may face felony charges and sentences of up to 10 years and fines reaching $5,000.

Ref: DC Code 22-3223

DC Bad Checks Penalties

You may face a bad check charge if knowing at the time of writing a check you don’t have sufficient funds or credit with the bank on which it is drawn.

If the value of the check is greater than $100, you will face felony charges and a potential 1 to 3 year sentence and $3,000 in fines.

However, if the value is less than $100, you will be charged with a misdemeanor offense and face up to 180 days in jail and $1,000 in fines.

It shall be assumed you intended to defraud if you make no effort to pay once being notified of the “bounced” check within 5 days.

Ref: DC Code 22-1510

All fraud charges are serious charges. Imagine having to put a conviction for felony fraud on all your job applications from this point on. Contact me today for a consultation on your case and to discuss your options.

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