A man facing more than three dozen warrants for his arrest in six states was recently arrested in Mississippi, The Advertiser reports.

According to the news article, most of the warrants pertain to the man allegedly writing bad checks in Alabama and in several other states. Hiring an experienced Birmingham Criminal Defense Attorney to defend these cases is important in order to ensure the rights of the accused are being upheld.

Trying to pass worthless checks in Alabama is punishable as a misdemeanor, but most people don’t face just one count. Therefore, the penalties can stack up if law enforcement charge a person with multiple counts.

In Alabama, writing a bad check falls under the definition in Alabama Code 13A-9-13.1. Under that law, writing a bad check is written as "negotiating worthless negotiable instrument."

The law says that if someone passes a "negotiable instrument" – a check — that they know is worthless, they can be found guilty of the crime. The elements of the crime require that the person knows their check is bad expecting that it won’t be honored.

The scenarios under which the check wouldn’t be honored include if there is no actual account from which to draw money, if payment was refused for lack of funds or if notice of refused payment is mailed and returned undelivered.

According to the news article, the Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office, which is in Mississippi, got a complaint of a person who was trying to cash counterfeit checks. When they arrived, they chased a suspect in a vehicle, after which a man and a woman, both from Lucedale, Mississippi, were apprehended.

The man had 41 warrants for his arrest at the time. In January, authorities sought the public’s help identifying a person who cashed counterfeit FedEx payroll checks in Cecilia, Louisiana. He allegedly had 19 warrants for using fraudulent checks in Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee.

The article states that the United States Secret Service and U.S. Attorney’s Office are now investigating the man. Perhaps because he is wanted in so many states, they are considering prosecution.

Obviously, most people don’t have 41 warrants out for their arrest, but in the case of writing or trying to cash bad checks, it is possible. Many people are accused of committing the crime many times and usually aren’t charged with just one count. Therefore, if the number of charges increase, so do the possible penalties. As the article states, the man may soon face federal charges in Alabama.

These types of charges must be diligently defended. In many of these cases, video surveillance or eyewitness testimony will come into play and be a major element of the state’s case against a defendant. Being able to positively identify a person as the one who attempted to pass a bad check is most of the battle for law enforcement.

But if witnesses’ identifications vary, even if one clerk says the man had a beard and another said he had a mustache, there’s cause for doubt. And the standard in the criminal justice system in this country is proof beyond all reasonable doubt. Getting some of the charges dismissed will be another defense strategy; it’s unlikely prosecutors have made, or care to present, all 40+ cases.  If witnesses can’t agree on what the suspect looks like, that’s doubt. There are many elements to a strong defense and they vary depending on the particular facts of the case. Trust in an experienced Birmingham Criminal Defense Attorney.

Additional Resources:

Man with 41 warrants arrested, by Brandon Kane, The Advertiser