Passing a Bad Check
Many of us have had an experience where we’ve written a check and it has bounced. While this is mostly just an embarrassing incident that costs an overdraft fee, it is also a criminal charge that can lead to significant jail time. Passing a bad check, R.S.Mo. 570.120, can be a Class C felony and can be a serious problem if not handled by an experienced St. Louis criminal defense attorney.
This crime, like all other thefts, requires an intent to deceive. The person passing the bad check needs to know that there are insufficient funds or know that the bank account does not exist in order to be charged with the crime. If it is just a mistake, that a paycheck was not deposited on time or an extra payment was taken out with a person’s knowledge, you will not face criminal charges. A St. Louis criminal defense attorney will work to show that this was a simple error instead of a calculated attempt to defraud a person.
This crime is normally a Class A misdemeanor, but will become a Class C felony if:
- The amount of the check is $500 or more
- There is no such person or account on the check itself
A person will not only face criminal charges for passing a bad check in Missouri, but the state will also come after a person for the administrative costs.