Philadelphia Issuing a Bad Check Lawyer
It may come as a shock to know that under certain circumstances, you can be charged with a crime for issuing a bad check. The penalties for being convicted of writing a bad check can even be enhanced depending on the believed value of the check. If you or a family member was arrested for issuing a bad check, you should consult with an experienced Philadelphia bad check defense lawyer.
The Law Offices of Lloyd Long understand that mistakes can happen and that issuing a bad check is a common scenario that can affect many people. Our firm avoids taking a large volume of cases to ensure that we can provide every client with the unique legal defense that they deserve. To schedule a free legal consultation to discuss your case, call The Law Office of Lloyd Long at (215) 302-0171, or contact us online.
Pennsylvania Bad Check Laws
In Pennsylvania, it is illegal to pass a check that is not valid. Specifically, the law states that writing a check or using a similar transaction method when the issuer knows it is not valid is a criminal act. To be arrested for this crime in Pennsylvania, the financial institution (drawee) the defendant used to issue the check must be located within the Commonwealth.
It is important to note that if the drawee is located within the Commonwealth, it does not matter where the defendant issued the check, they can still be held criminally accountable for their actions in Pennsylvania. However, that does not mean that the defendant cannot be held liable for this crime in another location where they issued the check. It is important to consult with an experienced attorney to determine how your crime can affect you in Pennsylvania and other states.
There is also a presumption that the defendant knew the check was invalid under the following circumstances:
- Payment was refused because the defendant used a check or similar payment method from a financial institution that they did not have an account with
- The institution refused payment for lack of funds, and the defendant did not make an effort to rectify this issue within 10 days of receiving notice of the lack of funds (check must be utilized within 30 days in this scenario)
Any party can notify the issuer of the check that their check was invalid. This means that the party who received the check or the financial institution used to write the check can notify the issuer the check was invalid using either oral or written notice. If the issuer cannot be located, sending notice to their last known address can be deemed as sufficient notice.
To learn more about the penalties for being convicted of issuing an invalid check, you should continue reading and speak with an experienced Philadelphia criminal defense lawyer.
Criminal Penalties for Issuing an Invalid Check
If you are convicted of issuing an invalid check, the criminal penalties will depend on the circumstances of your case. Specifically, the value of the check will directly affect the terms of your sentence. Normally, writing a bad check is not treated as a serious crime as the issuer will be given an opportunity to correct their mistake before they are charged with a crime. However, if the issuer does not make good on a check, they can face criminal charges.
If a defendant is convicted of writing an invalid check for less than $200, this is considered a summary offense. In Pennsylvania, the maximum possible sentence for a summary offense is 90 days in prison and a $300 criminal fine. If an invalid check were worth more than $200 but less than $500, the grade of the offense would be a third degree misdemeanor. Third degree misdemeanors carry a maximum sentence of one year in prison and $2,000 in fines. The penalties for this offense will continue to increase depending on the following circumstances:
- Writing an invalid check worth $500-$999.99 – Second degree misdemeanor with a maximum sentence of two years and $5,000 in criminal fines
- Writing an invalid check worth $1000-$74,999.99 – First degree misdemeanor with a maximum sentence of five years and $10,000 in criminal fines
- Issuing a bad check worth $75,000 or more – Third degree felony with a maximum sentence of seven years in prison and $15,000 in criminal fines
It is also important to note that if a defendant is convicted of issuing a bad check, they will have to reimburse the recipient of the check. The amount of money that must be paid to the recipient may vary. For example, the defendant may be ordered to pay the face amount of the check, or they may have to pay interest on the face amount of the check.
Our Philadelphia Criminal Defense Attorneys are Prepared to Fight for You
If you or a family member is facing criminal charges for writing a bad check, you should contact an experienced Philadelphia criminal defense attorney today. Criminal defense attorney Lloyd Long possesses several years of legal experience, and he would be proud to use this experience to represent you. To schedule a free legal consultation to discuss your case, call The Law Offices of Lloyd Long at (215) 302-0171, or contact us online.