If you find yourself facing criminal charges in New Jersey for passing, issuing, depositing, or cashing a bad check, be sure to read the following information carefully and contact an experienced attorney.
What Charges Can I Face?
Under N.J.S.A. 2C:21-5, if you are caught issuing or passing a check or similar sight order for the payment of money while knowing that it will not be honored by the drawee/bank, then you can be convicted of issuing or passing a bad check in NJ.
In New Jersey, you will be presumed to have known that the check or money order (other than a post-dated check or money order) would not have been paid for if any of the following occurred:
- You did not have an account with the drawee/bank at the time the check or money order was issued
- The payment was refused by the drawee/bank for lack of funds
- Making a deposit for collection (or upon presentation to the drawee/bank within 46 days after issue) coupled with a failure to make good within 10 days after getting notice of the refusal (or after the notice was sent to the issuer’s last known address)
If neither of the above-mentioned circumstances is applicable to your situation, then you will not be presumed to have known that the check would not have been honored. In this case, the prosecutor will bear the burden of proving such knowledge.
If you honestly and truly did not know, then you cannot be convicted.
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Penalties for bad checks in New Jersey
Your penalty will directly correlate to the cash value of the check or money order that you issued or passed. For example, if the check or money order was for less than $200, you could be convicted of a disorderly persons offense. Additionally, if the check or money order was for more than $200 but less than $1,000, you could be convicted of a fourth degree crime. If the check or money order was for more than $1,000 but less than $75,000, you could be convicted of a third degree crime. Lastly, if the check or money order was for more than 75,000, you could be convicted of a second degree crime.
Aside from jail time and a serious fine, a conviction for passing a bad check in NJ will result in a criminal record that could impact your future.
Think about it: criminal convictions are a matter of public record and most employers run criminal background checks before hiring.
Moreover, most employers view financial dishonesty as an outright bar to employment. This means that it will be extremely difficult to find a job if you are convicted of passing a bad check in NJ. Make sure to contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer to help you avoid the sting of a criminal conviction.
Who Should You Contact?
If you or a loved was recently charged with issuing or passing a bad check in NJ, contact Adam H. Rosenblum of Rosenblum Law today. Mr. Rosenblum is a skilled criminal defense attorney who has helped people in similar situations. He will defend your constitutional rights and do what he can to have your bad check charges dismissed. E-mail or call him today at 888-815-3649.