Charged With Writing A Bad Check In Monmouth County, Including Freehold, Holmdel, Middletown, Howell, Marlboro & Manalapan
Our Skilled Attorneys & Former Prosecutors Are Ready To Defend You
A common criminal offense defended by our attorneys in Freehold, Holmdel, Middletown, Howell, Marlboro, Manapalan and the rest Monmouth County is a bad check charge. A significant percentage of these cases are heard at the Monmouth County Superior Court in Freehold where all N.J.S.A. 2C:21-5 charges involving a check with a value of $200 or more are heard. If you have been charged with a disorderly persons offense or a crime of the fourth degree, third degree or second degree for issuing a bad check, selecting the best attorney is pivotal. Your avoiding a criminal record that includes thousands in fines and even jail hinges on the quality of your defense. An accomplished lawyers is going to ensure you have the opportunity to protect your future that you need. The lawyers on our team have over 100 years of collective experience, including time serving as county and municipal prosecutors, and are available 24/7 to assist you. Contact our firm now at 877-450-8301 to speak to one of our attorneys.
How Does The Prosecutor Prove A Bad Check Charge?
It is a violation of New Jersey Law under N.J.S.A. 2C:21-5 to issue or pass a check or similar negotiable instrument when the writer/issuer knows that the item will not be honored by the drawee. There are three elements that the prosecutor must establish to convict someone of writing or issuing a bad check:
- The accused issued or transferred an item;
- That was a check or similar order to be redeemed for payment; and
- They knew that the check would not be honored by the drawee.
When Does Knowledge Exist That A Check Is Bad?
As previously stated, the state must establish that the defendant knew the check would not be paid to violate 2C:21-5. In this regard, two presumptions have been created by law. First, it is presumed that the defendant knew the check was bad if the accused lacked an account with the drawee bank (e.g. account was closed). The second situation where knowledge is presumed is where the check is dishonored by the bank (e.g. insufficient payment, account closed or other reason) and the issuer/writer fails to make good within 10 days after receiving notice that the check has been rejected.
What Are The Penalties For Writing A Bad Check?
There are four grades of offense that someone can face for writing a bad check and each carry different penalties. It is a disorderly persons offense where the check is under $200 with penalties that include a fine of up to $1,000 and a maximum jail term of 6 months. A fourth degree bad check offense, which arises when the value is at least $200 but less than $1,000, carries a fine of up to $10,000 and up to 18 months in prison. The period of imprisonment is up to 5 years and the maximum fine is $15,000 for a third degree crime for writing a bad check. This grade arises where the check has a value of at least $1,000 but less than $75,000. The highest grade of this charge is a second degree crime and it applies where the check is $75,000 or more.
If the check, money order or electronic funds transfer is 75,000 or more, it is a crime of the second degree. If the check, money order or electronic funds transfer is $1,000 or more but less than $75,000, it is a crime of the third degree. If the check, money order or electronic funds transfer is $200 or more but less than $1,000, it is a crime of the fourth degree. If the check, money order or electronic funds transfer is less than $200, it is a disorderly persons offense. The penalties for a second degree bad check include a fine that can reach $150,000 and 5-10 years in prison.
Are There Diversion Programs To Avoid A Record For Issuing A Bad Check?
Two programs allow a first time offender avoid a criminal record and penalties for issuing a bad check. The eligibility requirements are strict for both programs and typically require that the accused complete one year of probation. Condition discharge applies to a disorderly persons offense for issuing a bad check. Pretrial Intervention applies where the charge is for a fourth degree or third degree bad check offense.
Can A Record Of Conviction For Writing A Bad Check Be Expunged?
An individual can expunge two convictions for a disorderly persons offense for issuing a bad check. One felony for writing a bad check may also be expunged. There is a two year waiting period to apply for expungment of a disorderly persons offense and five years for an indictable crime.
Monmouth County Bad Check Defense Lawyer
Whether you were charged with a bad check in Ocean Township, Wall, Tinton Falls, Hazlet, Eatontown or another Monmouth County, hiring a skilled defense lawyer is the best thing you can do to protect yourself. Here at The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall, our attorneys are savvy advocates who have successfully defend thousands of individuals arrested for a wide range of charges, including writing a bad check. To speak to an attorney about how we can achieve a favorable outcome, contact our office anytime 24/7. The consultation with our lawyers is free.