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Name: People v. Mathers
Case #: C060425
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 04/22/2010

Possession of a check that is genuine, but uncollectible due to insufficient funds, does not violate Penal Code section 476 which prohibits possessing, passing or attempting to pass a fictitious check. Appellant was convicted of possessing and attempting to pass a fictitious check based on his attempt to cash a check on an account which had been closed. He argued the evidence was insufficient to support the conviction because the check he possessed was not fictitious. The court agreed. The court looked at the character of the check. It was drawn on a once-valid account at an existing bank by a real person. And it was neither forged nor altered. The account closure did not change the check’s characteristics, but rather made it uncollectible. Since the check was genuine, rather than fictitious, it’s utterance or possession violated other statutes, but not section 476.