A person accused of passing a "bad check" in Las Vegas may find himself charged with a trio of felonies: forgery, grand larceny, and burglary. In other words, for each bad check passed, an individual may be charged with each of these offenses.
This page discusses instances where a person passes a forged check. A "bad check" case may also refer to passing a check with insufficient funds in your account. To read about the criminal offense of passing a check without sufficient funds, click here.
Forgery, as defined by NRS 205.090, is the making or altering of a negotiable instrument such as a check. In a typical bad check case, it may be alleged that the defendant signed another person's name on a check, or that the defendant produced a completely false check and deposited it into an account. Forgery is a category D felony and carries a potential prison sentence of 1 to 4 years.
As stated above, in a bad check case, in addition to the forgery charge, the defendant will typically be charged with either larceny or attempt larceny, depending upon whether or not the individual successfully obtained money when he passed the forged instrument. The value of the check will determine whether the charge is petty larceny, a misdemeanor, or grand larceny, a felony. In particular, if the value of the check is over $650, the defendant will be charged with grand larceny. Grand larceny is a category C felony punishable by 1 to 5 years in prison, unless the value of the taken property is over $3,500, in which case the grand larceny is a category B felony punishable by 1 to 10 years in prison.
Finally, a burglary charge in a bad check case typically means that a person entered into a store or casino, allegedly with the intent to commit a theft by fraudulently obtaining money by passing the forged instrument. Burglary is a category B felony punishable by a prison sentence of 1 to 10 years.
Because each bad check passed can result in the above trio of charges, if someone has allegedly passed multiple checks, the felony counts can add up very quickly and expose a defendant to very serious criminal liability.
There are defenses to these charges, however, and in many cases, criminal convictions, prison, fines, and other serious criminal penalties can be avoided. I have helped many individuals charged in bad check cases. If you have been charged with passing a bad check, contact me today to talk about your case.
By Michael Pandullo