CALCRIM No. 1971. Making, Using, etc., Check Knowing Funds Insufficient: Total Value of Checks (Pen. Code, § 476a(b))
Judicial Council of California Criminal Jury Instructions (2023 edition)Download PDF
1971.Making, Using, etc., Check Knowing Funds Insufficient:
Total Value of Checks (Pen. Code, § 476a(b))
If you find the defendant guilty of (making[,]/ [or] drawing[,]/ [or]
delivering[,]/ [or] using[,]/ [or] attempting to use) (a/an) (check[,]/
draft[,]/ [or] order) knowing that there were insufficient funds to cover
it, you must then decide whether the People have proved either of the
1. That at least one (check[,]/ draft[,]/ [or] order) that the defendant
(made[,]/ [or] drew[,]/ [or] delivered[,]/ [or] used[,]/ [or]
attempted to use) knowing that there were insufficient funds to
cover it was for more than $950;
2. That the total value of the (checks[,]/ [or] drafts[,]/ [or] orders)
charged in Count that the defendant (made[,]/ [or]
drew[,]/ [or] delivered[,]/ [or] used[,]/ [or] attempted to use)
knowing that there were insufficient funds to cover them was
more than $950.
The People have the burden of proving this allegation beyond a
reasonable doubt. If the People have not met this burden, you must find
that this allegation has not been proved.
New January 2006; Revised August 2015
If the defendant is charged with a felony based on the value of the checks, the court
has a sua sponte duty to instruct on this sentencing factor.
This instruction must be given with the appropriate instruction on the other
elements of the offense, CALCRIM No. 1970, Making, Using, etc., Check Knowing
The court must provide the jury with a verdict form on which the jury will indicate
whether the prosecution has or has not been proved that the value of the checks
exceeds $950. (See Penal Code § 476a(b).)
• Elements. Pen. Code, § 476a(b).
Multiple Checks Totaling Over $950 - Number of Counts
Under Penal Code section 476a(b), the offense is a felony-misdemeanor if the total
amount of the checks made or issued exceeds $950. In general, the prosecution may
charge a separate count for each check. However, if the individual checks do not
meet the statutory amount and the offense is charged as a felony based only on the
aggregate value, the prosecution can only charge a single felony count covering all
of the checks that total more than $950. (In re Watkins (1966) 64 Cal.2d 866,
868-869 [51 Cal.Rptr. 917, 415 P.2d 805].) If, on the other hand, the defendant is
charged with felony offenses based on a prior forgery-related conviction, the
prosecution may charge each separate check as a separate felony count. (People v.
Pettit (1964) 230 Cal.App.2d 397, 398 [41 Cal.Rptr. 42].)
2 Witkin & Epstein, California Criminal Law (4th ed. 2012) Crimes Against
Property, § 180.
6 Millman, Sevilla & Tarlow, California Criminal Defense Practice, Ch. 143, Crimes
Against Property, § 143.04 (Matthew Bender).
1972-1999. Reserved for Future Use
CALCRIM No. 1971 CRIMINAL WRITINGS AND FRAUD