Bad checks can be the result of an honest mistake. Maybe an error by your bank or employer was at fault for the bounced check. A simple mistake in personal accounting can make someone believe that they have more money in their account than they actually do. Whatever the reason behind a bad check, check fraud charges may be brought against the offender, possibly resulting in a hefty fine and even jail time.
Penalties for Check Fraud in Missouri
The penalty for passing bad checks depends on a couple of factors, including the amount of the check. You may either be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony.
If you’ve written a check from your own active checking account for an amount less than $500, you may be charged with a Class A Misdemeanor. In this case, you may face up to one year in jail, as well as a large fine.
A Class C Felony charge may be brought against you if you write a bad check of more than $500, or if you write a check from a bank where you do not hold an active account. The penalty for felony check fraud is much higher than the penalty for a misdemeanor. You may face up to seven years in prison.
What Should I Do if I’ve Written a Bad Check?
If you do bounce a check, it’s important that you never talk to a bank, commercial institution or police officer without first seeking legal advice from a criminal defense lawyer. These conversations could be used against you to proceed with a criminal case of passing bad checks or fraud.
Bill Byrnes is a St. Charles criminal defense attorney with more than fifteen years of experience helping clients just like you who have found themselves in need of a defense lawyer. Many of his defenses for passing bad checks include a post-dated check or an accident with no intention to create check fraud. Even if you know you are guilty, you are entitled to a defense to keep this off your permanent record. Pleading guilty to a bad check charge can create problems for you when filling out rental, loan, academic and employment applications — even if it is a misdemeanor!
Bill will give you free advice on your check charges and your best defense. Call 24 hours a day at 636-896-4300. Bill will help. The call and initial legal consultation are always free.
Bill Byrnes, accepts passing bad checks and check fraud cases across St. Louis, St. Charles, Montgomery, Franklin, Lincoln and Warren County Missouri. Do not let a bad check ruin your record.