Theft by Check

What is Issuance of a Bad Check?

Theft By Check is when a check is written from a closed account, or where insufficient funds were availible in the check's account. If the check writer fails to pay within 10 days after receiving the notice, then the store (or person receiving the check) can file charges. Notice to the check writer can be given by the store or the person's bank, notifying of the overcharge.

Why is Theft a Crime of Moral Turpitude, and what does that mean?

Crimes of Moral Turpitude are offenses involving traits of honestly and trust in the community. Offenses that, if convicted, may portrait the person as being dishonest, include Theft, Forgery, Perjury, and other crimes directly related to a person's integrity. Crimes of Moral Turpitude are among the most commonly reported on criminal history background checks, and are scrutinized by potential employers, colleges, landlords, and law enforcement. Even on a Class C Theft.

Convictions of Crimes of Moral Turpitude also have devastating effects with personal rights. They may disqualify a person from serving on jury duty, holding public offices, obtaining licensing and clearance in certain fields, traveling into other counties, obtaining loans and mortgages, and more. They will also be allowed to be disclosed to the jury or judge if you are ever testifying at a hearing or trial.

What can I expect with a Theft by Check?

The main issue with a theft by check case is to pay off the check. You can also expect to pay the civil fees associated with the bounced check, which can be upwards of $200, depending on the Court or agency.

Depending on the circumstances and whether the person has a history of Theft by Checks, some people can expect a dismissal upon paying off the check, while others could face a conviction, fines, loss of the ability to hold a checking account, probation, and even in some instances, jail.

Priors and More Information

If there was no account linked to the check, or if that account had been closed prior to the writing of the check, the law holds that a person will be presumed to have knowledge of the lack of funds in an account, and therefore presumed to possess the intent to commit a theft by check, where the person had no account with the bank or other drawee at the time he issued the check or order.

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(a) If the actor obtained property or secured performance of service by issuing ... a check ... for the payment of money, when the issuer did not have sufficient funds in ... the bank ... it is prima facie evidence of the issuer's intent to deprive the owner of property under Section 31.03 (Theft).

What are the Punishments?

Depending on the amount of the check written, Theft by Check can be a Misdemeanor or Felony. The breakdowns of values/amounts is the same as used for a regular Theft offense.

Penalties for Theft by Check
Level of Offense Punishment
Class C Misdemeanor Not Jailable, No more than $500 fines
Class B Misdemeanor Not more than 180 days in a county jail, and/or no more than $2,000 fines
Class A Misdemeanor Not more than 1 year in a county jail, and/or no more than $4,000 fines
State jail felony 180 days to 2 years in a state jail, and/or no more than $10,000 fines
3rd Degree Felony 2-10 Years in Prison, and/or no more than $10,000 fines

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