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Passing Bad Checks

Passing a bad check in the state of Ohio is an illegal and criminal act. Even if you write a check for basic utilities, gas, or food, you can still face criminal charges for passing a bad check if certain conditions apply to you.

To be charged with passing a bad check according to the Ohio Revised Code (ORC 2913.11) one of the following situations must apply:

  • You were aware and had knowledge that there were not enough funds in your bank or checking account to cover the expense indicated on the check;
  • The check references an account that does not exist;
  • The check was references an account that was opened with false information;
  • You neglected to pay the original amount owed within the 10 day period of receiving notification;
  • You received notification that the check bounced within 30 days after it was issued or within the 30 day period of the agreed upon deposit date.

Passing a bad check carries serious penalties and consequences. The resulting penalties you may face for being convicted of passing a bad check depend on how the monetary amount of the initial check. The following information details what criminal charge you will face and the associated:

  • If you attempted to pass a check for any value up to $500, you will face a first degree misdemeanor. This entails up to six months in jail and up to $1,000 in fines.
  • If you attempted to pass a check for any value between $500 and $5,000 to a single business or individual, you will face a fifth degree felony. This entails at least six months and up to one year in prison, as well as up to $2,500 in fines.
  • If you attempted to pass a check for any amount between $1,000 and $5,000 to multiple businesses or individuals, you will face a fifth degree felony. This entails at least six months and up to one year in prison, as well as up to $2,500 in fines.
  • If you attempted to pass a check for any amount between $5,000 and $100,000, this is a fourth degree felony. You will face at least six months and up to 18 months in prison, as well as up to $5,000 in fines.

If you are being charged with passing a bad check, there may be potential defenses that can be raised to fight this offense. The following may be used as a defense, if applicable to the facts and circumstances of your case:

  • If it can be proven that you are of good character;
  • If it can be proven that fraud can be traced to someone else, separate from you;
  • If it can be proven that you did not have know that the check would not be accepted;
  • If it can be proven that you were mentally incapable or intoxicated at the time you wrote the check;
  • If it can be proven that you had a temporary extension of funds with your bank.

Facing criminal charges? Contact us today.

Criminal charges can be an overwhelming and frightening experience. You are probably worried about your freedoms and privileges being at stake and have a lot of questions. You can rest assured, because the Cincinnati Criminal Defense team is here for you. Get the justice that you deserve. Don’t hesitate to contact us today at or email us at advice@cincinnaticriminalattorney.com.
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