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Larceny by Check
In Massachusetts it is a crime to deliberately pass a bad check. The law states that if you pass, make, draw or deliver a bad check knowing that there are insufficient funds to cover that check. If you are convicted of this crime you are guilty of larceny by check, a violation of Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 266 Section 37. An interesting aspect of this law is that a bounced check is prima facie evidence of intent to defraud and of knowledge of insufficient funds. The exception is where funds sufficient to cover the check are deposited within two days of receiving notice of insufficient funds from the bank.How can the District Attorney Prove Larceny by Check in Massachusetts?
District Attorneys prosecuting Massachusetts larceny by check cases must prove four things beyond a reasonable doubt to sustain a conviction of this offense:
- That you wrote, cashed, passed or delivered a bad check;
- That you obtained money, property or services as a result of doing so;
- That when you wrote that check you that you did not have sufficient funds in the bank to cover the check, and;
- That you did this with the intent to defraud the bank or the person who received the bad check.
Inasmuch as this is a form of larceny the potential punishment is the same as established for larceny. If the district attorney shows that the bank sent you notice (or even advised you orally) that the check bounced a judge can instruct the jury that your failure to make good on that check within two days of receiving that notice can be used to infer 1) that you knew that you were writing a check without funds to support it and 2) that you wrote this check with the intent to defraud. An instruction like this can be quite damaging to your defense. Therefore, it is critical that your lawyer is an experienced Massachusetts Theft Crimes Defense Lawyer who has handled these types of cases and understands the nuances that might arise during the course of negotiations or trial.
There are also civil consequences to bouncing checks. Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 93 Section 40 states that in addition to criminal penalties for a civil suit to recover the face amount of a bounced check there can be a civil fine of between $100 and $500 imposed if a written demand for payment goes unanswered.I am in Default for an Old Larceny by Check Case. What Should I do?
Many times I get a call from someone who just found out that he has an outstanding default warrant for a larceny by check case. Usually the client has no idea what this is about. These people typically live out of state and find out about the warrant when they go to get their license renewed. The registry in their state will not renew the license until they clear up the warrant. The typical scenario is that they bounced a check, a complaint or application for a complaint issued and they were never notified. When we are hired we immediately go to the court, review the papers and contact the victim and district attorney’s office to see what happened. Sometimes the victim is an entity no longer in existence. Other times it is an individual who just wants our client to make good on the check. Regardless, hiring a lawyer right away is the best way to put this case to rest.
If you have been charged with any type of theft crime in Massachusetts call our office right awayor contact us online. Many theft crimes can be resolved at the initial court appearance and without delay or involved litigation. Experienced Massachusetts theft crimes lawyers know how to effectively and efficiently resolve these cases.