If you’ve been accused or arrested for passing a bad check in Missouri, the consequences can be quite serious if not taken care of properly. If, for any reason, you are being charged with passing a bad check, your first phone call should be to an experienced criminal defense attorney. Not only will they carefully examine each component of your case in order to safeguard you against jail time and increased fines, but they will also be able to coach you through the entire court process. Most importantly, in the event of your arrest, you should not speak to anyone about your charge until you have discussed your situation with a criminal attorney in Missouri. Any admission of guilt could backfire, and you will have lost your case before it has even begun.
Potential Penalties For Passing a Bad Check
Being convicted of passing a bad check in Missouri means that you may face charges varying in degrees from a Class A misdemeanor to a Class C felony.
Class A Misdemeanor for Passing a Bad Check
If an individual has been arrested and charged with a Class A misdemeanor for passing a check, they have been found to:
- Knowingly passes a bad or worthless check with the intent to defraud the recipient.
- Writes a check using a fictitious account number or even bank.
Class C Felony for Passing a Bad Check
The conviction becomes a Class C felony when a person:
- Knowingly passes a bad or worthless check in an amount of or over $500, with the intent to defraud the recipient
- Knowingly passes a check equal to or more than $500 using a fictitious account number or bank.
If you are found guilty, you can face fines up to 1,000 and/or up-to one year in jail.
The Bad Check Unit
In Missouri, before a person is charged with a bad check, they are sent a notification of the alleged offense from The Bad Check Unit. Once the person in question has been notified of the infraction, they are given a specific amount of time in which to pay the charge in question. Additional fines or fees may have been added. More often than not, bad checks are taken care of at this junction, especially if the bad check was just an honest mistake. However, if bad checks are not resolved at this point, criminal charges will be pressed against the offender.
A Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help
Though it may not seem like a serious offense at first glance, being convicted of passing a bad check in Missouri can create serious complications for your future. Similar to stealing and fraud, passing a bad check conviction may make you “unhireable” to potential employers and could even affect your social life.
A seasoned criminal defense attorney in Missouri can help you analyze your options and may be able to have your entire case dismissed in exchange for payment to the receiving party. Contact our team at Missouri Legal today to set up your free consultation.