A bad check crime is a type of crime in which the offender knowingly uses or issues a check that is not valid or legal in some way. In most cases, these are linked to instances where the offender is trying to make a purchase, obtain monetary amounts such as in financial fraud, or secure some sort of transaction using the bad or fake check.

Check crimes are generally considered "white-collar" crimes as they involve the use of misrepresentation or fraud rather than physical threats or violence.

What Are Some Common Forms of Bad Check Crimes?

In most cases, when someone says "bad check", they’re referring to a check that was linked to an account that had insufficient funds. Or, they may be referring to a check that is already expired. In a criminal context, the person needs act intentionally in order to be held liable for a crime. Bad check crimes can occur when a person knowingly commits actions such as:

  • Using an altered check (for instance, changing the amount written on the check)
  • Forging a check or using a forged check
  • Using a counterfeit check
  • Engaging in check fraud schemes such as those involving overdraft and check kiting
  • Making a misrepresentation regarding a check or bank account

One of the most common crimes is where a person uses an invalid check to make a purchase of a personal property item. The offender may then leave town or disappear once they receive the item. Other crimes include those related to accounting and business activities.

What Are Some Penalties for Bad Check Crimes?

Penalties for bad check crimes may vary depending on several factors. In most cases, a check fraud charge may result in a misdemeanor charge. This is punishable by some criminal fines and up to a year in jail. However, some check crimes may result in felony charges, which are punishable by higher fines and over one year in a prison facility.

For instance, penalties for check crimes may depend on the amount that the checked was issued for, or the amount of stolen property obtained with the check. Checks for higher amounts may result in felony charges, while lower amounts may result in misdemeanor charges.

Do I Need a Lawyer for Help with Bad Check Charges?

Crimes involving checks can often lead to some serious criminal consequences. You may need to hire a criminal lawyer near you if you need any assistance with check crimes or any other type of white collar crime. Your attorney can provide you with legal representation during court hearings and other meetings. Also, if you have any questions or inquiries, your lawyer can perform legal research to help address your concerns.