In Texas, you can be charged with issuance of a bad check if it’s alleged that you’ve written someone a check, and you knew that you didn’t have enough money in your account to cover it. Unlike the crime of theft by check, which requires that you receive something of value, you can be charged with issuance of a bad check, even if you give someone a check as a gift (keep this in mind, in case grandma writes you a hot check for your birthday… she can be prosecuted!). Issuance of a bad check is a Class C misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of up to
$500. However, if it’s alleged the bad check was written in payment of child support, it’s charged as a Class B misdemeanor, with a penalty range that includes up to 180 days in the county jail, and up to a $2,000 fine. The Texas statute which governs issuance of bad check cases (referenced below) provides that a defendant can make restitution, and the means by which he or she may do so. Curiously, it does not state that a defendant receives any benefit by doing so. Indeed, you can still be prosecuted, even if you make restitution on the check.
If you’re facing charges for issuance of a bad check, or a warrant has been issued for your arrest on this charge, you should call the criminal defense lawyers at Berlof & Newton, P.C. at 214.827.2800. Free consultation. We can post an attorney bond and remove the arrest warrant, and keep you from being arrested on the charge. We will then vigorously represent you in court. Our attorneys have vast experience in handling issuance of bad check cases. Contact one of our lawyers directly using the “Get Legal Help Now!” form, located in the left margin of this web page. Don’t delay. We want to help. Se habla español.
Also, if someone you know is in jail on issuance of bad check charges, call us at 214.699.7975. Our Dallas bail bond attorney can not only represent them in court, but also post their bond, and help them
get out of jail… FAST!
Texas Penal Code Section 32.41. ISSUANCE OF BAD CHECK. (a) A person commits an offense if he issues or passes a check or similar sight order for the payment of money knowing that the issuer does not have sufficient funds in or on deposit with the bank or other drawee for the payment in full of the check or order as well as all other checks or orders outstanding at the time of issuance.
(b) This section does not prevent the prosecution from establishing the required knowledge by direct evidence; however, for purposes of this section, the issuer’s knowledge of insufficient funds is presumed (except in the case of a postdated check or order) if:
(1) he had no account with the bank or other drawee at the time he issued the check or order; or
(2) payment was refused by the bank or other drawee for lack of funds or insufficient funds on presentation within 30 days after issue and the issuer failed to pay the holder in full within 10 days after receiving notice of that refusal.
(c) Notice for purposes of Subsection (b)(2) may be actual notice or notice in writing that:
(1) is sent by:
(A) first class mail, evidenced by an affidavit of service; or
(B) registered or certified mail with return receipt requested;
(2) is addressed to the issuer at the issuer’s address shown on:
(A) the check or order;
(B) the records of the bank or other drawee; or
(C) the records of the person to whom the check or order has been issued or passed; and
(3) contains the following statement:
“This is a demand for payment in full for a check or order not paid because of a lack of funds or insufficient funds. If you fail to make payment in full within 10 days after the date of receipt of this notice, the failure to pay creates a presumption for committing an offense, and this matter may be referred for criminal prosecution.”
(d) If notice is given in accordance with Subsection (c), it is presumed that the notice was received no later than five days after it was sent.
(e) A person charged with an offense under this section may make restitution for the bad checks. Restitution shall be made through the prosecutor’s office if collection and processing were initiated through that office. In other cases restitution may be, with the approval of the court in which the offense is filed:
(1) made through the court; or
(2) collected by a law enforcement agency if a peace officer of that agency executes a warrant against the person charged with the offense.
(f) Except as otherwise provided by this subsection, an offense under this section is a Class C misdemeanor. If the check or similar sight order that was issued or passed was for a child support payment the obligation for which is established under a court order, the offense is a Class B misdemeanor.
(g) An offense under this section is not a lesser included offense of an offense under Section 31.03 or 31.04.
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