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How much time in prison would a person recieve if there caught writing a fake check at a store?

Valencia, CA |
Attorney answers 5


As a Former Deputy District Attorney, with over 25 years of experience, that's impossible to answer. Many facts are neccessary in order to give an estimate. Many firms offer a FREE consultation, as do we. I wish you well........David Wallin


There are too many unknown factors to provide a meaningful answer so my suggestion is to contact a few attorneys in your area for a free consultation. Best wishes.

The response above is not intended as legal advice since it’s impracticable to provide thorough, accurate advice based upon the query without additional details. It is highly recommended that one should seek advice from a criminal defense attorney licensed in your jurisdiction by setting up a confidential meeting. Moreover, this response does not constitute the creation of an attorney-client relationship since this message is not a confidential communication because it was posted on a public website, thereby publicly disclosing the information, which is another reason to setup a confidential meeting with an attorney.


That is not a prison case and if it is someone with no record, if you hire counsel and handle it correctly it should not draw any jail. Many of us offer a free consult including our firm.

Brian Michaels
Los Angeles Defense Attorney


It depends on your prior record, the facts of your case and whether restituion if any was paid. Many times this type of incident may be charged not only with passing a bad check, but burgalry for entering the store to pass it and I.D. theft if it was someone elses check or name signed etc. A first offense of this kind of conduct may have probation only, fine, restitution, public work and possibly jail, but a good chance to avoid it. You should contact an experienced criminal defense attorney who is familiar with the Court and prosecutors where the case is being heard and review your case and background with the attorney for a realistic assessment of your situation.


Depends on the state's laws. In Louisiana, you would have committed forgery. The false making of any document purporting to have legal efficacy. Punishable in LA up to 10 years in prison. I don't know what the law on forgery is in CA. Forgery in LA does not change in grades of offense due to the value of the document or check. It is always a felony offense. Most states do have different grades of theft-based offenses based on the value of the item stolen, including LA, but that is a different crime than forgery. Also, one could be charged with both forgery and theft if one falsely made the check (forgery0 and then was able to obtain goods or cash by cashing the check (theft). The DA then decides how to charge an offender and with what crimes, and has the burden to prove all elements of the crimes charges beyond a reasonable doubt.

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