Recently, the internet has become flooded with questionable deals to make easy money and not long ago, attorney Erika Valcarcel aided a man that fell victim to an unscrupulous offer that left him in serious legal trouble. Apparently, the 42-year-old manufacturing worker made contact with an individual on, who purported to be with a legitimate insurance company. The individual offered to send the man a rebate check that he would need to cash on behalf of the company, keeping a portion of the funds for himself. The man went to the bank, but instead of receiving the money, he was arrested and charged with a third-degree felony of uttering a forged instrument. This is a check fraud offense, carrying a maximum penalty of five years in prison. While the man should have had the foresight to know this was not a legitimate transaction, he certainly did not want to serve time in jail or have a conviction for a crime of dishonesty follow him on all his future employment and financial applications. Therefore, he called on Erika Valcarcel, Criminal Defense Lawyer, P.A. for help navigating the situation.

Attorney Valcarcel began working on her client’s case and met with the prosecutor, who initially wanted to pursue the felony conviction and house arrest. During negotiations, Varcarcel argued that her client was duped into acting as a patsy in an internet scam and the other party was much more culpable. The prosecutor eventually agreed with her argument and acquiesced to permit her client’s enrollment in the Pretrial Intervention Program (PTI), which allows for a dismissal of the charges after completing some community service. In the end, the client was pleased to learn a life lesson, rather than paying for a lapse in judgment with time in jail or a looming check fraud conviction.

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