The Colorado Fraud by Check (Check Fraud) statute, C.R.S. 18-5-205, contains all the elements a prosecutor must prove in court before someone can be found guilty of this crime. The standard is the same for a person charged in Arapahoe, Denver, Adams, or Douglas County. It is not enough to simply show that a person bounced a check. The prosecutor must prove each of the elements listed below. This crime can also be charged as Theft, C.R.S. 18-4-401, when goods or services are taken without payment. Depending on the amount, it can result in a felony.
Most people have bounced a check at some time in their life, usually because of sloppy bookkeeping. Many times, it’s because deposited funds do not clear. Other times, it can be a bank error. One Littleton man purchased $500.00 of garden supplies with a check and his bank cashed it for $5,000.00. The check cleared took his balance close to zero, and every check he wrote after that bounced.
C.R.S. 18-5-205(2) says, “[A]ny person knowing he has insufficient funds with the drawee (bank), who, with intent to defraud, issues a check for the payment of services, wages, salary, commissions, labor, rent, money, property, or thing of value, commits fraud by check.”
Two very important elements of Fraud by Check, are “knowing,” and “with intent to defraud.” Both of these elements must be proven before a person can be found guilty of this crime. A person may actually know there was not enough money in his account without intending to defraud someone. For example (I do not recommend this), someone may write a check knowing his balance is insufficient. He may intend to deposit money into his bank to cover the amount before the check clears. However, if something unforeseen happens that keeps him from getting money into his account, it may look like Fraud by Check to a prosecutor. This may leave him in a position where he needs to defend himself court.
The attorneys at O’Malley Law Office, P.C. have over twenty years experience making prosecutors prove their cases. We also know how to present our client’s side of the story that will give him the best opportunity to have the case dismissed.
If you or someone you care about is charged in Jefferson County or anywhere in Colorado with Fraud by Check (Check Fraud), don’t talk with police. Good people that have done nothing wrong have much to lose by saying the wrong thing. So, be smart, exercise your right to remain silent, and call us at 303-731-0719. Together we can protect your future.