If you are charged with No Account Checks in Livonia, Michigan, you need the help of an experienced Livonia criminal defense attorney. I can provide you with nearly 20 years of experience and a willingness to fight and take cases to trial.
No account checks / writing checks on closed account is a class H felony that carries up to 2 years in prison (24 months). If you are arrested and charged with No Account Checks, your first court appearance will be an arraignment in the 16th District Court in Livonia, Michigan. Learn more about an arraignment now. At the arraignment, your case will be scheduled for a probable cause conference and a preliminary examination. Bond will also be addressed at the arraignment. The probable cause conference must be scheduled within 7 to 14 days of the arraignment with the preliminary examination scheduled within 5 to 7 days after the probable cause conference.
Following the preliminary examination, further proceedings are held in the Wayne County Circuit Court at the Frank Murphy Hall of Justice in downtown Detroit. If there is virtually any evidence supporting the prosecutor's case, it is extremely likely that the matter will be bound over in the district court. Nonetheless, I almost always challenge cases at the preliminary examination because it is the best opportunity that the defense is presented for challenging the evidence and developing the facts that will support defenses in the circuit court. DO NOT WAIVE THE PRELIMINARY EXAMINATION WITHOUT MAKING AN INFORMED DECISION.
The charge of No Account Checks is detailed in the Michigan compiled laws, MCL 750.131a(1). The provisions of MCL 750.131a state:
(1) A person shall not, with intent to defraud, make, draw, utter, or deliver any check, draft, or order for the payment of money, to apply on an account or otherwise, upon any bank or other depository, if at the time of making, drawing, uttering, or delivering the check, draft, or order he or she does not have an account in or credit with the bank or other depository for the payment of the check, draft, or order upon presentation. A person who violates this subsection is guilty of a felony, punishable by imprisonment for not more than 2 years, or by a fine of not more than $500.00, or both.
(2) A person shall not, with intent to defraud, make, draw, utter, or deliver, within a period of not more than 10 days, 3 or more checks, drafts, or orders for the payment of money, to apply on account or otherwise, upon any bank or other depository, knowing at the time of making, drawing, uttering, or delivering each of the checks, drafts, or orders that the maker or drawer does not have sufficient funds or credit with the bank or other depository for the payment of the check, draft, or order in full upon its presentation. A person who violates this subsection is guilty of a felony, punishable by imprisonment for not more than 2 years, or by a fine of not more than $500.00, or both.
No Account Checks under Michigan sentencing guidelines is scored under crimes against property (Property). Under the guidelines, a person who is convicted of No account checks / writing checks on closed account with no prior record and no aggravating factors looks to the low end of the guidelines which call for up to 1 months. With no prior criminal record but horrible facts, the defendant can face 6 months. With a terrible criminal record and terrible facts, the accused can be looking at 17* months under the guidelines.
The jury instructions set forth the following elements for No account checks / writing checks on closed account that must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt by the prosecuting attorney:
M Crim JI 29.7 Drawing Check on Bank Without Account
(1) The defendant is charged with the crime of writing or delivering a [check / draft / money order] on a bank without having an account or credit with that bank. To prove this charge, the prosecutor must prove each of the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:
(2) First, that on [date], the defendant wrote or delivered a [check / draft / money order] in the amount of $___________, payable to ____________________.
(3) Second, that this [check / draft / money order] was drawn on [identify bank].
(4) Third, that when [he / she] did this, the defendant did not have an account or credit with that bank.
(5) Fourth, that when [he / she] wrote or delivered this [check / draft / money order], the defendant intended to defraud or cheat someone.
(6) Fifth, that this [check / draft / money order] was presented for payment.
I can't emphasize enough how important it is to focus on the jury instructions while preparing a defense to the offense of No Account Checks. While there are a number of defenses to No account checks / writing checks on closed account that we can explore during a consultation, the elements contained in M Crim JI 29.7 provide a roadmap for defending the case. This is true in almost every single case, and really great defense attorneys focus early on these jury instructions.
As a cautionary note, you might be completely innocent but still face criminal charges. Even worse, you might be denied bail, forced to spend months in jail before you are vindicated. I have seen many cases where a truly innocent client is baffled, angry and scared, completely unable to understand why police and prosecutors are gunning to get a conviction. So long as probable cause is established at the preliminary examination, then the matter will be bound over for trial in the 3rd Circuit Court for the County of Wayne and further proceedings will be held in the Frank Murphy Hall of Justice in downtown Detroit. This is why it is so important that you contact an experienced Livonia criminal defense attorney to help you defend against criminal charges in the 16th District Court.
*represents an aberration under the guidelines that might result in county jail time or violate the 2/3rd maximum minimum rules under the guidelines, which is something that must be discussed with your attorney.