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Can I Go to Jail for Writing a Bad Check?


Writing a bad check in Texas is a crime in Texas, and it may be charged as a misdemeanor or felony depending on the amount the check was written for.

People are encountering financial hardship a lot these days, and such hardship can convince an otherwise honest person to make a dishonest decision. When economic times are tough, one such decision someone might make is writing a check that they know will bounce.

Writing a bad or “hot” check is considered theft in Texas because the person writing the bad check is aware that they aren’t giving someone else valid payment for an item or service. In addition to check fraud charges, someone can face other theft charges such as shoplifting.

What Is the Penalty for Writing a Bad Check in Texas?

We previously mentioned that check fraud may be charged as a misdemeanor or felony in Texas, which means that someone convicted of this crime can face anything from a considerable fine to years in prison.

Checks written for amounts up to $1,499 may result in misdemeanor check fraud charges on a sliding scale. For example, bad checks written for less than $20 are charged as Class C misdemeanors, punishable by a fine of up to $500. No jail time is possible for this offense, but it is for other misdemeanor charges.

If someone writes a fraudulent check for $20 and up to $499, this is a Class B misdemeanor, and they can be sentenced to six months in jail and a $2,000 fine; the most serious misdemeanor, Class A, is reserved for checks written in amounts of $500 and up to $1,499. If someone is convicted of this offense, they can face up to a year in jail and up to $4,000 in fines.

Lastly, hot checks written for $1,500 or more carry the most serious penalties. Charged as state jail felonies, someone convicted of this offense may be sentenced to state jail for at least two years and ordered to pay a fine of up to $10,000.

Were You Charged with Check Fraud? We Can Help.

Although checks aren’t as popularly used as they once were, they are still regarded as valid forms of payment. That said, a payment method that lacks the popularity it once had can quickly become the source of a misunderstanding that can snowball into allegations of check fraud.

If you believe you are unfairly accused of writing a bad check or any other kind of fraud, our attorneys at The Alband Law Firm can provide the legal support you need. We can fully investigate the allegations against you and build a legal defense that can help you avoid or mitigate the consequences of a conviction.

Learn more during an initial consultation – contact us online now to get the legal help you need.