In the state of Illinois, it’s possible to go to jail for writing a bad check. The crime of doing so falls under “financial institution fraud,” and it’s punishable by time in jail or in prison. Here’s what you need to know.
Can You Go to Jail for Writing a Bad Check?
If you attempt to obtain money, funds, credits, assets or any other property owned by or under the custody or control of a financial institution “by means of pretenses, representations or promises” that you know to be false, you could end up in serious legal hot water.
The amount of trouble you’ll get into depends on the value of the property in question. For example, if the full value:
- Does not exceed $500, it’s a Class A misdemeanor
- Does not exceed $500 but you’ve been convicted of a financial crime or any type of theft, robbery, armed robbery, burglary, residential burglary, possession of burglary tools, or home invasion, it’s a Class 4 felony
- Exceeds $500 but is less than $10,000, it’s a Class 3 felony
- Exceeds $10,000 but is less than $100,000, it’s a Class 2 felony
- Exceeds $100,000 but is less than $500,000, it’s a Class 1 felony
- Exceeds $500,000 but is less than $1 million, it’s a Class 1 non-probationable felony
- Exceeds $1 million, it’s a Class X felony
If you’re facing this kind of trouble, the best thing you can do may be to contact a Chicago criminal defense attorney who can review your case and help you get the best possible outcome.
The possible penalties for a conviction for writing a bad check include prison time and hefty fines, so it’s in your best interest to protect yourself however you can.
What Will Your Lawyer Ask You if You’re Accused of Writing a Bad Check?
Your attorney will most likely ask you questions about the alleged incident. It’s up to you to tell your attorney everything he or she needs to know to defend you properly – a lawyer can’t defend something he or she doesn’t know about.
Do You Need a Lawyer if You’re Innocent?
Jails and prisons all over Illinois are home to innocent people – and that means that even if you’re innocent, you can (and in many cases, should) get an attorney to represent you. The state of Illinois may find you guilty of committing a crime, even if you’re innocent.
Do You Need to Talk to an Attorney?
If you’ve been accused of a crime, we may be able to help you – and don’t worry: It’s completely confidential. Call us at 847-920-4540 or fill out the form below to schedule your free, private consultation with an experienced and skilled Chicago criminal defense attorney now.