Passing bad checks in the state of New Jersey can be a very serious offense and is certainly something that should not be taken lightly. If you or someone you love has been charged with this serious crime in Morris County, you cannot afford to have anything but the best representation at your side to fight these charges. Here at the Law Office of Jonathan F. Marshall we fully understand what a conviction for bad checks, theft by deception, receiving stolen property, theft of moveable property and burglary can do to one’s life. Our Morris County, New Jersey passing bad checks defense lawyers are fully prepared to fight to protect your rights. We have been representing clients charged with passing bad checks in Morristown, Mendham, Harding, Washington, Boonton, Denville and Parsippany for over a decade. If you would like to discuss your options with any one of the eight Morris County criminal defense lawyers on staff at the Law Office of Jonathan F. Marshall, please contact our Morristown Office at 979.971.0030. Now here is some key information on the crime of passing bad checks.
N.J.S.A. 2C:21-5: Passing Bad Checks Attorneys in Madison
As defined in the New Jersey Criminal Code, under N.J.S.A. 2C:21-5, 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 of this section. A very glaring defense to this crime would be then that the person did not know that the check would bounce and that they genuinely believed that they could cover the cost of the check. However, to get around this, the law also lists two presumptions to help the state prove their case against the check issuer. The statute states that an issuer is presumed to know that the check or money order would not be paid if:
- The issuer had no account with the drawee at the time the check or order was issued; or
- Payment was refused by the drawee for lack of funds, or due to a closed account, after a deposit by the payee into a bank for collection or after presentation to the drawee within 46 days after issue, 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 reasonably manner by any person.
In simpler terms, if the state can show that either of the above circumstances are true, they need not prove that you knowingly wrote a check that you knew could not be honored.
What are the Penalties for Passing Bad Checks in New Jersey?
The gradation of the offense, like most theft charges, is related to the value of the check that is fraudulently written. It is a disorderly persons offense if the check is worth less than $200. It is a crime of the fourth degree if the check is worth more than $200, but less than $1000. It is a crime of the third degree where the check is worth between $1000 and $75,000. Finally, it is a crime of the second degree where the check is worth more than $75,000. The distinction in terms of fine and possible periods of incarceration are drastic. A disorderly persons offense only carries with it a fine, but a fourth degree crime carries with it the possibility of incarceration for up to 18 months, a third degree crime carries with it the possibility of incarceration for between 3 and 5 years, and a second degree crime carries with it the possibility of incarceration for up to 10 years.
Morris County NJ Passing Bad Checks Defense Attorneys
Needless to say, you cannot afford to face charges such as these on your own. You need the best representation that you can obtain. Here at the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall, we have over 100 years of collective experience defending against criminal charges in Morris County, including countless bad checks, robbery, theft, marijuana possession and heroin distribution cases. We believe that our experience as former prosecutors makes us uniquely qualified to attain you the best results. So please, if you or someone you love has been charged with this serious crime in Morris County, do not hesitate to contact us today at one of our Morris County offices for a free consultation with an experienced attorney.