Writing Bad Checks in New Jersey (N.J.S.A. 2C:21-5) – Defense Attorney
In New Jersey, it is illegal to write a check when you don’t have enough money in your checking account to pay the check. A New Jersey criminal defense attorney can advise you of your rights if you’ve been charged with writing a bad check.
The defendant is presumed to know that the check would not be honored if at the time of writing the check, the defendant had no account with the bank or if the bank refused payment for lack of funds.
Alternatively, the prosecutor must show the following:
- The person you wrote the check to must try to cash or deposit the check within 46 days from the day the check was written.
- The bank must refuse to honor the check because there are insufficient funds or the account is closed.
- The bank or the person you wrote the check to must send you notice that the check has not been honored. You have 10 days to write a good check.
- If you do not fix the check within 10 days, the court can presume that you knew that the check would not be honored when you first wrote it.
If the amount at issue is less than $200, the municipal court will handle the check fraud offense as a disorderly persons offense. However, even as a disorderly persons offense, you may face up to 6 months in prison and a fine of up to $1000. If you used a motor vehicle in the course of committing the offense, the court may suspend your driver’s license for up to two years. If the amount at issue is higher, the punishment becomes more severe.
This is a serious offense. If you are charged with writing a bad check, contact an experienced New Jersey criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.
A bad check charge can often be resolved without a trial or conviction if the defendant makes restitution to the victim. Restitution should be made as soon as possible.