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Hammer O'Justice
Hammer O'Justice, Criminal Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 4501
Experience:  Almost 12 years of legal experience, primarily in criminal law
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I am being charged with Check Deception in Indiana, a Class

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I am being charged with Check Deception in Indiana, a Class A misdemeanor. I received a summons to appear in court on Thursday.

I need to know what to expect. I have never been to court, never had a run-in with the law besides a speeding ticket. I did write the check knowing the funds weren't in the account. I just figured it would overdraw the bank, and I could pay back the bank asap. I had no idea it was a crime and now facing up to 1 year in prison. That's very scary.

What can I expect in this court hearing? What should/can I do?!
Basically, the prosecutor will make you an offer and you can plead guilty or not guilty. If you feel the plea offer is reasonable, you can accept it and plead guilty. For a first offense of this nature, you will likely get some sort of probation and have to pay back the value of the check. If you don't want to plead guilty or don't like the offer, I would suggest that you then ask for a postponement to get a lawyer. Even if you can't afford one, you can apply for the services of the public defender.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
So would it be in my best interest to plead not guilty and then hope for a plea? If i plead guilty, will I just be sentenced to some sort of jail term? And last question...what would the probation be like...probation from what? Sorry for all the questions. I don't mind a probation or any punishment - just scared to go to jail even for 1 day and want to avoid that at all costs.
If the offer is good, you can plead guilty. You will be sentenced to whatever the plea offer is, and with a first offense, will most likely be probation rather than jail. I normally think everyone should get a lawyer, but with a first offense, you will likely get the best plea offer possible anyway even without a lawyer.

Probation means you will be supervised rather than in jail. You will likely have certain conditions that you will have to complete, likely restitution and possibly community service.

If the offer is jail, then I would suggest pleading not guilty and coming back with a lawyer, but I think a jail offer is unlikely with no record.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Last question then I promise I'll send payment! They have a letter from the bank stating that I had knowledge the check wasn't good - so with this proof from the bank, what are the chances they will say "screw your not-guilty plea we have proof and are going to stick it to you!" Thank you so much for your help, I will send payment immediately after this question.
If you plead not guilty and request a trial, then upon your conviction you will likely get a sentence that is worse than your plea offer...if you are in fact convicted. That is why I suggest getting a lawyer to handle your case if they want jail time as part of the plea.
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