Passing Bad Checks

This offense can be a felony or a misdemeanor depending on the value of the check amount. If less than $200 in value the crime is a misdemeanor and is technically a theft offense. As a class one misdemeanor this crime is punishable by one (1) year in jail and up to a $2500 fine.

There can be many defenses to this offense. Defenses include the identification of the person who actually passed the check. There may also be an issue of the intent to commit the offense at the time that the check was passed. Other defenses exist as well.

Many times complaining witnesses use the criminal justice system as a collection agency to leverage payment for bad debt. In some of these cases restitution can correct the issue and the case can be dropped. It is important to remember that the prosecution may not be inclined to simply drop the matter with restitution. These cases require careful negotiation for a successful outcome.

It is best to consult with an attorney before going to Court to resolve this type of case. Generally the sooner that can be done the better. Many times there are defenses as stated above, but if the matter comes down to mitigating the situation through restitution you may need to obtain a continuance to give you time to collect funds for payment.