Bad Checks or Check Fraud in New Jersey
In New Jersey, a charge for bad checks is codified by N.J.S.A. 2C:21-5. It is considered a crime in New Jersey to pass a bad check knowing that the check will not be honored. It is very important to distinguish between bad check crimes and a common civil or contract dispute.
Former Fraud Prosecutors
The Bianchi Law Group is made up of former trial prosecutors and other “of counsel” attorneys who have handled the investigations and prosecutions of most crimes in New Jersey and will defend you for all federal and state crimes in New Jersey including bad check or check fraud charges.
Certified Criminal Trial Attorneys by the New Jersey Supreme Court
Partners Robert A. Bianchi and David J. Bruno are also both certified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as Criminal Trial Attorneys.
In New Jersey, the New Jersey Supreme Court has a certification committee which classifies certain New Jersey Lawyers as Certified Trial Attorneys. The process requires the prospective attorneys to satisfy strict criteria including extensive jury trials, a primary focus in criminal law, an application submission, a peer review process, a character and background check and to pass a written examination. Only 250 of over 98,000 lawyers (less than 1%) are designated as certified criminal trial attorneys by the New Jersey Supreme Court. This should be an important factor in finding a New Jersey criminal defense attorney to represent you. Many New Jersey Lawyers describe themselves as trial attorneys, but most do not have the New Jersey Court’s distinction as Certified Criminal Trial Attorney.
Penalties for Bad Checks in New Jersey
The Penalties for Bad Checks in New Jersey depend on the amount of the check or money order:
- A crime of the second-degree if the check or money order is $ 75,000.00 or more;
- A crime of the third-degree if the check or money order is $ 1,000.00 or more but is less than $ 75,000.00;
- A crime of the fourth-degree if the check or money order is $ 200.00 or more but is less than $ 1,000.00
- A disorderly persons offense if the check or money order is less than $ 200.00.
Crimes in the second-degree range can be punishable from 5 years to 10 years in New Jersey State prison. Crimes in the third-degree range can be punishable from 3 years to 5 years in the New Jersey State prison. Crimes in the fourth-degree range can be punishable up to 18 months in New Jersey State prison. Disorderly persons offenses can be punishable up to 6 months in the County jail usually in the County where the crime was committed.
The Sentencing Judge may also order fines and restitution as prescribed by 2C:43-3 for all convictions for Bad Checks in New Jersey.
Presumption for Bad Check Cases in New Jersey
There is a subsection within the Bad Checks Statute which allows a jury to presume that the check would not be paid.
For the purposes of this section as well as in any prosecution for theft committed by means of a bad check, an issuer is presumed to know that the check or money order (other than a post-dated check or order) would not be paid, if:
a) The issuer had no account with the drawee at the time the check or order was issued; or
b) 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 reasonable manner by any person.
Trial Ready New Jersey Criminal Lawyers
Like in all of our cases handled at the Bianchi Law Group, our experienced staff of trial attorneys and “of counsel” attorneys are there to make sure the Government can prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt. If our attorneys cannot resolve the case with a dismissal or a fair and just plea bargain, our lawyers at The Bianchi Law Group will not hesitate to select a jury and take the case to trial. That is what we do and what distinguishes us from other attorneys. We are former prosecutors, trial-tested, and certified by the New Jersey Supreme Court as certified criminal trial attorneys… We will not hesitate to go to trial.