Issuing a non sufficient funds check (NSF) is really a theft related offense and may be a felony in North County and all of California. If the check is issued for $450 or less, it may be a misdemeanor. The crime requires issuing a check when you knew there was insufficient funds to cover it at the time and intending to defraud another. Many times these NSF checks can be made good quickly and criminal charges can be avoided. The facts and cricumstances of any non suffienct funds check case are extremely important in determining whether the check was written knowing there was no money in the account at the time and if it was done to defraud another. Post dating a check may avoid the problem, if you are realistically anticipating funds to be available. You are essentially telling the other person there are not funds now but there should be later, and the facts will determine whether you have issued it with an intent to defraud.
Sometimes it may simply be an honest mistake. Each case must be looked at in light of the surrounding circumstances. Settling these cases, if you do not have a defense, depends on your prior record, the facts of your case and whether restituion if any was paid. Many times this type of incident may be charged not only with passing a bad check, but burgalry for entering the store to pass it and I.D. theft if it was someone elses check or name signed etc. Most of the time, we are able to resolve these cases very favorably for our clients. Misdemeanors non sufficient funds check cases carry up to a year in jail, restitution, and up to a $1000 fine. A felony carries up to 3 years custody, restitution and a $10,000 fine.
You should contact an experienced criminal defense attorney who knows how to handle these cases and is familiar with the Court and prosecutors where the case is being heard like Christoph Law Offices located directly across from Vista Courts for over 30 years and highly rated. Call 760-941-5720 for a free consultation and a realistic assessment of your case.