You know that bouncing a check isn't a good thing and that it can often come with expensive fees. Is it actually criminal? It may be depending on the circumstances.
What Are the Elements of a Bad Check Charge?
To convict you on a bad check charge, the prosecutor has to prove three elements: first, that your check bounced; second, that you didn't have enough money to pay it; and third, that you knew the check would bounce. The second element is important because if the bank made a processing error and your check shouldn't have bounced, you weren't responsible. In addition, if you got a new batch of checks and didn't realize your bank printed your account number wrong, that's also not the same as if you couldn't pay the check.
Finally, you have to know that the check would bounce. This area is a little bit subjective. If your bank account got hacked and drained of all of your money after you wrote a check, you're clearly not guilty because you had no way of knowing you were going to get hacked. On the other hand, you can't just write a check without keeping track of how much money you had or you may face criminal charges. The purpose of the charge is that you should know if your check is good or not.
How Do Prosecutors Prove Knowledge and Intent?
Since it's impossible to read your mind, no one can know for sure if you intended to write a bad check or knew you didn't have enough money. Instead, the prosecutor will introduce other evidence. This might include how much money you had in the bank, if you've previously bounced checks, and if you immediately paid the person who got your bounced check when you found out. Your defense is to introduce evidence that you made an honest mistake and worked to make things right as quickly as possible.
Are There Other Possible Charges for a Bad Check?
You may face more than a bad check charge if you never paid the other person. For example, if you bought a car with a bad check and didn't pay or return the car, that could be grand theft auto. The key to a theft charge is that you would have had to not intend to pay, so your defense would be that you didn't know the check bounced or you paid as soon as you found out.
To learn more about how to beat a bad check charge, contact a local criminal defense lawyer today.
Hello and welcome, I'm Winfred Paulo. I have a passion for civil court cases of all kinds. Some time back, I ended up in the thick of a civil case after a lengthy dispute with my neighbor. The dispute went on for years and ended badly with an incident that landed us both in court. We had to prove our side of the case in an effort to obtain a positive outcome and recoup our losses. Unfortunately, I lost the case due to a lack of evidence. Since then, I've maintain a strong interest in civil cases and their proceedings. I will share information about civil cases on this site to help others understand these proceedings better. I may talk about legal terms, and expected outcomes for each case type. I hope you visit often to learn more. Thanks for stopping by my website.