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Lake County Check Fraud Defense Attorney

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Illinois Criminal Lawyer Experienced in White Collar Crimes

With the constant improvements to technology, it is easier and easier for financial institutions to detect check fraud cases. Many people believe that check fraud, as a white collar crime, is not all that serious. In truth, if your charges of check fraud fall under the Illinois definitions of forgery or embezzlement, you could face felony charges and prison time. Further, a felony conviction will become a part of your criminal record forever and could have serious, adverse effects on your relationships, your employment possibilities and many other parts of your life.

If you have been accused of check fraud or passing bad checks, it is important that you have a knowledgeable, experienced criminal defense attorney by your side to ensure your rights are protected. The The Law Offices of Matthew R. Gebhardt, P.C. understand that you are likely feeling anxious and afraid, wondering what is about to happen in your life. Our Northbrook, Illinois white collar crime attorney has a clear vision for the outcome of your charges and will zealously work to make that vision a reality.

Details of Check Fraud Charges

Illinois law will base the penalties for a check fraud conviction on the amount of money involved. Check fraud cases can be extremely complex, involving an analysis of the intent of the accused. The charges of check fraud can encompass many fraudulent activities including the following:

  • Writing a check from an account you knew had insufficient funds or was closed;
  • Using a forged check, altering or amending a check, endorsing a check that is not yours to yourself;
  • A scheme known as “kiting” checks which involves writing checks and running them through multiple bank accounts with a goal of obtaining funds in excess of what is known to be in the bank; or
  • Writing checks in anticipation of funds not yet in your account.

The crime of check fraud must include certain elements in order to obtain a conviction. You must have committed the crime knowingly and with intent, through deception or threat or must have knowingly made false or deceptive statements to the public for the purpose of promoting the sale of property or services.

Northbrook Penalties for a Conviction of Check Fraud

If the value is less than $300, you could be charged with a Class A misdemeanor, and face a potential jail sentence of up to a year in jail and fines as high as $2,500. In cases where the total value of stolen money is between $301 and $10,000, you could be charged with a Class 3 felony, and could face a possible prison sentence as long as five years and a fine as large as $25,000. Finally, if the fraud amount is between $10,001 and $100,000, a Class 2 felony may be charged and you could be sentenced to seven years in an Illinois state penitentiary and be subject to a fine as high as $25,000.

Potential Defenses to Illinois Check Fraud Charges

An experienced Lake County white collar crime attorney will base your defense on the circumstances surrounding your charges. Perhaps you seriously lacked the knowledge that you had insufficient funds in your account to cover the charges. Your attorney may be able to argue lack of intent if you had every intention of having the funds available. In some cases, you may have been the victim of identity theft, meaning you are not responsible for check fraud.

How Your Lake County Check Fraud Attorney Can Help

Attorney Matthew R. Gebhardt is both professional and effective in defending those charged with check fraud. He will aggressively investigate the prosecutor’s case, looking for lack of solid evidence against you. When appropriate, a plea deal will be negotiated on your behalf, however Matthew R. Gebhardt has no hesitation in litigating your case in court. Contact our law firm today for a free consultation.

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