Check Fraud

N.J.S.A. 2C:21-5

New Jersey Check Fraud Law: Bad Checks N.J.S.A. 2C:21-5

In New Jersey, N.J.S.A. 2C:21-5 governs bad check offenses and provides in pertinent part:

N.J.S.A. 2C:21-5. Bad checks

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 as provided for in subsection c. of this section. 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.

c. An offense under this section is:

(1) a crime of the second degree if the check or money order is $ 75,000.00 or more;

(2) 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;

(3) a crime of the fourth degree if the check or money order is $ 200.00 or more but is less than $ 1,000.00;

(4) a disorderly persons offense if the check or money order is less than $ 200.00.

Penalties for Writing Bad Checks in NJ

The above statute lays out the penalties for writing bad checks in New Jersey. If the check is written for $75,000 or more, this will be graded a second degree offense. If the bad check is for more than $1,000 but less than $75,000, you will be charged with a third degree crime. If the check is in an amount between $200 and $1,000, this is considered a fourth degree offense. Finally, if the check is for less than $200 it is a disorderly persons offense in New Jersey.

If you have been charged with a fraud,  you can only make a well-informed decision about how to proceed after discussing your case with an attorney with the appropriate experience. If you would like to speak with me, call 1-732-845-3203 or e-mail Ray at to set up a consultation.

I represent clients who have received a summons or been arrested on a wide variety of traffic and criminal offenses, defending them throughout New Jersey.

The Law Offices of Raymond A. Raya, Esq.

Monmouth County Lawyer

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