A Recent Case Win–Theft by Check Case Dismissed

214-402-4364 (24 hour jail release)
972-562-7549 (Office)
bo@kalabuslaw.com (email)

In addition to my retained clients, I also take court appointed clients in certain counties, to help citizens that can’t afford a lawyer from waiving their rights if they are facing criminal charges. I think it helps me keep things in perspective and it’s a great way to give back to the community. It can be difficult work at times, but it can be extremely rewarding, such as the case here. The client was accused of theft by check for allegedly writing a $104 check for groceries to a local store that bounced. As you can imagine, the client had very limited financial means and was sitting in jail unable to post a bond when I was appointed to him one day in court. The State was putting on pressure for my client to take a plea agreement for time served, but he would have to plead guilty to the theft. This sounds good on the surface, but theft by check is a crime of moral turpitude and that type of crime can really limit a person’s ability to obtain employment down the road. After a talk with my client, he agreed with me and decided to hold the State to its burden of proof and I set the case for a quick trial setting.

Theft by check is a complex case for the State to prove. First, proving by positive identification the individual accused actually wrote the check is a high hurdle and usually requires eyewitness testimony. Second, proving the individual had intent to deprive the owner of the property is also very difficult in a check case. To do so, the State has to prove: 1) the individual wrote the check on a closed account, or the payment was refused by the bank for insufficient funds within 30 days after issuance of the check; and 2) the bank provided notice to the individual and the individual still failed to pay the check within 10 days. With this in mind, I went to work on the case and prepared it for trial.

On the day of the pre-trial hearing in the case, the State finally relented and dismissed the case without any conditions. Sometimes it really pays to stand your ground. Instead of a theft by check conviction on his record, my client has the case dismissed and now has the opportunity to clear the charge from his record. As you can imagine, my client was relieved and very pleased with the result.

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