A conviction for a criminal offense will result in a criminal record and public embarrassment. That record may follow you throughout your life, including job interviews and professional boards. Do not let one momentary mistake haunt you for the rest of your life. Contact the criminal defense law firm of Proetta & Oliver for your criminal charges. Our firm is comprised of criminal defense attorneys and former New Jersey Deputy Attorney General. We have spent our careers fine-tuning our level of expertise and can offer our clients a individual-focused approach to their case. Call609-850-8284 today and speak with an attorney today about your case.
What is the Criminal Charge for Bad Checks, N.J.S.A. 2C:21-5?
N.J.S.A. 2C:21-5 is the statutory law that handles theft offenses involving “bad checks.” A review of the language shows that it says the following: “A person who issues or passes a check or similar sight order for the payment of money, knowing that it will not be honored by the drawee, commits an offense.”
If you break this down further, the State must prove each of the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt: 1. That defendant knowingly issued or passed a check for the payment of money, and 2. That defendant knew at the time he/she issued or passed the check that it would not be honored by the drawee.
Many defendants think that simply denying that they knew the check would bounce is sufficient to avoid conviction. This is simply not the case. The State can prove “presumed knowledge” if the defendant lacked a bank account at the relevant bank or if payment was refused by the drawee for lack of funds and the issuer failed to make good within 10 days after receiving notice of that refusal or after notice has been sent to the issuer’s last known address. Notice of refusal may be given to the issuer orally or in writing in any reasonable manner by any person.
Bad Checks Defense Attorney in Burlington Township NJ
The grade or degree of this offense correlates directly to the amount of money involved. It is a crime of the second degree if the check or checks in question exceeds $75,000.00. It is a crime of the third degree if the check or checks are at least $1,000.00 but less than $75,000.00. It is a crime of the fourth degree if the check or checks range in value between $200.00 and $1,000.00. Finally, it is a disorderly persons offense if the check’s value does not reach $200.00. A disorderly persons offense differs from the other three because it is a misdemeanor that is non-indictable and is handled at the local municipal court.
What are the Penalties for Writing Bad Checks in NJ?
For a bad checks offense in the second degree, a defendant will face between five (5) and ten (10) years of incarceration, as well as a $150,000.00 fine. A conviction for bad checks in the third degree, carries between three (3) and five (5) years of incarceration, as well as, a $15,000.00 fine. If convicted for bad checks in the fourth degree, a defendant will face up to eighteen (18) months of incarceration, as well as, a $10,000.00 fine. Lastly, a disorderly persons conviction for bad checks, results in up to six (6) months incarceration, as well as, a $1,000.00 fine.
Bordentown NJ Criminal Defense Lawyers
Call 609-850-8284 today and speak with an attorney about what we can do to assist you or your family member with their case. We have handled thousands of theft cases throughout the years and can provide you with the experience necessary to fight your criminal charges.
Our phones are answered 24 hours a day. We are available weekdays during business hours. We also meet with clients on evenings and weekends by request. We have four office locations conveniently located in Mount Laurel, Point Pleasant, Princeton and Middletown. All major credit cards are accepted.