Tag Archives: BAD CHECKS

How can I prove I didn’t write bad checks?

Q: I have to go to the Magisterial District Judge about a bad check that was written with my name and my ID. I didn’t write the check. I never even been in this specific store. How do I prove it? My wallet was stolen in 2012 while I was in the hospital recovering from surgery. I never reported it to the hospital. I just replaced the couple items I had with me after my recovery. Later in 2013 someone called me about a bad check I supposed to have written. I explained to the lady I don’t use checks at all and at the time didn’t have a checking account and I never been in her store. Basically, it wasn’t me. She looked and said the signature didn’t match and we hung up. I never thought about it again. Then, I’m paying a traffic citation and the lady tells me I have a warrant in another district. I call, and they explained to me what it was for. I’ve never been in trouble before and I don’t know how a warrant works. I just know I don’t want to go to jail for something I had nothing to do with. I went to the magistrate, pled not guilty, paid the fee for that. I go to court on the 20th. How do I go about proving this wasn’t me? It wasn’t my address and it wasn’t my account. There’s another name on the check. (Monroeville, PA)

A: I have handled many of these wrongfully accused cases as I am sure other attorneys have. The burden at the Preliminary Hearing level is for the DA to have the District Justice hold your case for the Common Pleas Court level. It is a very easy burden to meet. Proving you guilty at the Common Pleas level is much more difficult. Even though the DA has the burden to prove you are guilty, you almost have to prove you are innocent in these cases. To beat the case at the Preliminary Hearing level, you need to be super prepared and persuasive. You will fare better with an attorney. A good attorney will continue your case and gather evidence. Based on what you say, you have some defenses although I am a little confused how one of your checks was cashed at the time you did not have a checking account. My advice is to hire a private lawyer or arrange representation with the Public Defender.


Q. I was charged with writing bad checks. I paid the checks. At the primarily hearing, the DA would not reduce the charges or dismiss. I have never been charged with anything in the past. My attorney wants me to go through the ARD program. It was 4 checks the first and the 4th were never deposited. As for the other two, I was at fault. The police officer would not even speak to my attorney. I feel like I did not get a fair hearing. Now, it will cost me more money that I don’t have. I am wondering if there is anything I can do to have charges dismissed. I can get letters stating I am a law abiding citizen that just make a stupid mistake. People who are real crooks get away with things where I who made a mistake and pay the extreme.

A. It is still a crime even if you pay the money back. The attorney may be communicating the only deal available which is Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD). I will assume for the purposes of my answer that you have no defense for trial. Sometimes these cases can be worked out at the Preliminary Hearing for a dismissal if restitution is made. Apparently, that was not satisfactory to the police officer or the victim or the DA, or some or all of them. Now, it sounds like you have no other option but ARD. Be aware that ARD is discretionary with the DA and you have no right to it. I assume your case was held for court and now will be at the Common Pleas Court level. You still have a chance of getting a dismissal at that level with full restitution. Your attorney can ask again, but, if ARD is the only offer from the DA, that is your only option.