How to prove innocennce in check fraud case?

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How to prove innocennce in check fraud case?

I deliver newspapers. Two years ago a customer quit having a paper. She paid me$12 for her final payment. Later she saidher check was altered and cashed for $72.I did not do this. Now, the police contactedme and the magistrait said, i am free withthe condition of reporting to a probation officer. They tell me i need a lawyer. I amwaiting to see if i qualify for a public defender.Any advice would be appreciated. This is inwest virginia.

Asked on June 10, 2009 under Criminal Law, West Virginia

Answers:

M.S., Member, Connecticut Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Remember, in our criminal justice system, you are innocent until proven guilty.  Therefore, in criminal cases, the burden is not on the defendant to "prove innocence."  Rather, the burden rests with the state to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the defendant is guilty.  With that in mind, it appears there may be exculpatory evidence in your case which would negate a finding of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.  The bank should have a record/image of the allegedly altered check.  Moreover, the bank should also have a record of the amount of money that they cashed the check for.  If your version of events is true, these records could potentially be used to exculpate you (i.e., negate guilt).  I recommend that you discuss this potentially exculpatory evidence with whomever you retain to represent you, whether it is a private criminal defense attorney or a public defender appointed by the state.


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