Is writing a bad check a felony


Bouncing a check by mistake is not the same thing as intentionally passing a bad check. The latter could lead to jail time and fines if convicted. A bad checks offense means you issued or passed a check knowing it would not be honored by the financial institution where you have your account. For example, if you wrote a check on a bank account you knew was closed.

Notice of refusal can be given to the person who wrote the check orally or in writing. For your third or subsequent offense within a five-year period, regardless of the amount of the check or order, you can be charged with a felony of the third degree.

If you are found guilty of passing bad checks, you will also have to reimburse the payee. If you have a bad checks charge on your criminal record, it can easily be seen by any potential employer who does a background check. Businesses do not want to hire someone who might steal from them, and a theft of any kind on your record will make them wary of employing you.

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In particular, it will be hard for you to get a job in banking, government or as a cashier. The law requires the prosecution to show that the accused knew at the time the check was made or issued that there were insufficient funds in his or her account. Thus, there is a knowledge element that must be met.

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  • Thus, where the accused issues a bad check, a rebuttable presumption is created that the accused knew there were insufficient funds to cover the payment order represented by the check. The only exception is where the accused the check maker and issuer pays the holder of the instrument the person who was to be paid with the check the total amount due, together with applicable service fees, within 15 days after the holder sends written notice of the bad check, bounced check, or worthless check.


    No crime may be charged in respect to the giving of a worthless or bad check when the payee the person receiving the check or payment order knows, has been expressly notified, or has reason to believe that the accused did not have on deposit sufficient funds in the bank to ensure payment. However, the previous issuance of a bad check by the accused is insufficient to put the payee on notice. The penalties available in a Worthless or Bad Check case depend on the amount of the check involved in the transaction.