Being charged with any criminal offense is a difficult experience. So-called white collar crimes like bad checks, credit card fraud, and forgery can be particularly difficult because they often carry a strict sentence and the stigma associated with someone who “should have known better.” We are all supposed to be financially responsible, but people make honest mistakes. When you are facing charges like this, the last thing you want to hear is condescending advice; you need help.Charged with a crime in New Jersey? Please call (888) 205-9314
Some of these charges commonly committed by people who are professionals. Often, offenses like these are seen as a quick way to get ahead with little chance of getting caught. Times of financial hardship can create a sense of desperation that leads to bad judgment.
Whether you are facing charges of forgery, credit card fraud, or even bad checks—I can help.
New Jersey Bad Checks – Laws & Penalties
Bad Checks are often seen as a minor offense. A closer look reveals that the penalties for writing a check without enough money in your bank acocunt can be very severe. The charge you face for bad checks depends on the amount of the check or money order in question:
|Bad Check Amount||Charge||Potential Sentence|
|More than $75,000||2nd degree crime||Up to 10 years and $150,000 in fines.|
|$1,000- $75,000||3rd degree crime||Up to 5 years and $15,000 in fines.|
|$200- $999||4th degree crime||Up to 18 months and $10,000 in fines.|
|Less than $200||Disorderly persons offense||Up to 6 months and $1,000 in fines.|
It is, of course, very possible to write a check and have it bounce without intending. If that is what happened, and for whatever reason, you didn’t get a chance to make good on the bad check, it may not be too late to resolve this problem without a criminal record.
Ref: NJ Stat. §2C:21-5
New Jersey Forgery Laws & Penalties
Forgery involves several acts that are committed with the knowledge or intention of inflicting fraud or injury. You can be charged with this crime if you are accused of any of the following:
- Altering or changing the writing of another without permission,
- Making, completing, or issuing any writing purporting it to be the act of another person, or
- Signing someone else’s name or forging documents in their name.
Because all cases are slightly different, the charge you face is dependent on these unique characteristics of your case.
Forgery can be charged as either a 3rd or 4th degree criminal offense, carrying up to 5 years in prison and thousands of dollars in fines.
Possession of forgery devices is a separate criminal offense and applies to things like computers, software, access devices, written instruments, or personal identifying information possessed with the purpose to use or to permit another to use for forging.
This is also a 3rd degree crime, carrying as much as 5 years in prison.
Ref: NJ Stat. §2C:21-1
New Jersey Credit Card Fraud Charges
There are a variety of related criminal charges that constitute credit card fraud in New Jersey. They include:
Fraudulent Use of a Credit Card
If you use a counterfeit, fictitious, altered, forged, stolen, lose, or fraudulently obtained card to obtain money, goods, or services you could be facing this charge. It is a 3rd degree crime which carries the potential 5 years in prison and $15,000 in fines.
Fraudulently Signing a Credit Card
If you sign the back of the card when the card is not yours or authorized to you, you will face a crime in 4th degree and a potential 18 months in prison and $10,000 in fines.
Sale or Purchase of Credit Card
If you buy or sell a credit card you could be facing charges of a crime in 4th degree. Such a crime carries a potential 18 months in prison and $10,000 in fines.
Lost/Mislaid Credit Card
Even if you retain possession of a card that is lost, mislaid, or delivered by mistake and is not yours, you could be facing charges of a crime 4th degree. Again, this offense carries a potential 18 months behind bars and fines.
Ref: NJ Stat. §2C:21-6
There are numerous charges that fit under the fraud and white collar crime umbrella, too many to mention. If you are facing charges like this, I can help.
I have defended many clients against similar criminal charges. Together you and I can discuss the options that are available to you and the possible defense strategies. Call me for a consultation on your case.
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