Being charged with a criminal offense can be nerve wracking but hiring the right criminal defense attorney can go a long way alleviating most of those feelings. More often than not, an individual who is charged with passing a bad check is going to be dealing with the criminal justice system for the very first time. That is because most passing bad check charges stem from a simple lapse in judgement. At Keith Oliver Criminal Law, we try and make this process as painless as possible. Passing a bad check is a serious crime in New Jersey. Depending on the amount of money in question, a Defendant could be facing anywhere from a fine at a worst case scenario all the way up to a decade behind bars. Furthermore, based on the new bail guidelines, an individual charged with passing bad check could be forced to be detained in the Somerset County Jail, without bail, pending trial. However, in order to do so, the prosecution must file for and be successful at a Detention Hearing. During these hearings, it will be the prosecution’s burden to establish by clear and convincing evidence that in order to protect society, assure the Defendant’s appearance in court and to prevent them from obstructing the prosecution of the case, they must be detained in the Somerset County jail, without bail. These types of hearings can be and always should be contested. If you would like to speak to one of our Somerset County experienced criminal defense attorneys then please contact us at (908) 533-1064.
Keith Oliver Criminal Law is an experienced Somerset and Hunterdon County criminal defense firm. Our attorneys have been defending clients accused of passing bad checks, receiving stolen property, burglary, robbery, shoplifting, theft of moveable property, theft of services, theft by deception or any other offense for that matter, in courts throughout New Jersey including courts throughout Somerset and Hunterdon County. If you would like to come in and speak to one of our criminal defense lawyers about your options then please contact us at (908) 533-1064. We can sit down and discuss the specific facts of your case and formulate a game plan that works best to fit your interests. Our office serves all of Somerset and Hunterdon County, including towns like Somerville, Union, Flemington, Clinton, Bridgewater, Readington, Watchung, North Plainfield, South Bound Brook, Bernards and Warren Township. Do not let a simple misunderstanding jeopardize your future. Now her is some key information on passing bad check charges in New Jersey.
Passing a Bad Check Attorney in Hunterdon County NJ
Passing Bad Check Charges in NJ: NJSA 2C:21-5
Passing a bad check charge will be governed by NJSA 2C:21-5 in New Jersey. In essence this offense will cover a situation in which it is alleged that the Defendant issued a check that they knew would not be honored in order to obtain something of value. When it comes to defending these types of charges the key is going to be looking at the Defendant’s underlying intent. NJSA 2C:21-5 states in pertinent part that:
- “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.”
To be convicted of this offense, the prosecution must prove the following two elements beyond a reasonable doubt:
- That the Defendant knowingly issued a check for the payment of money; &
- That the Defendant knew at the time they issued the check that it would not be honored.
How to Defend a Issuing a Bad Check Charge in NJ
As touched upon earlier, the key to defending these types of charges is to look at the underlying intent of the Defendant. In order to prove this charge, the state must establish that the Defendant committed the “act” knowingly. To prove the Defendant acted knowingly, the prosecution must show that they were aware that it is practically certain that their conduct would cause such a result. It is a state of mind and cannot be seen and it can only be determined by inference from the Defendant’s conduct, words or actions.
What is the Jail time for Passing a Bad Check in NJ
Passing a bad check charge in New Jersey can either be a second, third or fourth degree felony or a disorderly persons offense (misdemeanor). Just like every other theft related offense in New Jersey, the degree of the offense will be dictated solely by the dollar amount in question. In this case, the dollar amount in the check. Here is a helpful chart that will breakdown the different degrees and the potential penalties if convicted.
|Degree||Dollar Amount in Question||Penalties|
|2nd Degree||More than $75,000|
|3rd Degree||More than $1,000 but Less than $75,000|
|4th Degree||More than $200 but Less than $1,000|
|Disorderly Persons Offense||Less than $200|
A Defendant charged with passing a bad check may be eligible for a diversionary program in New Jersey. Those programs include the Pretrial Intervention Program, the Conditional Dismissal Program and Drug Court. Each one of these programs operate a little differently but at the end of the day each one of them will allow for a Defendant to avoid jail time. To speak to one of our criminal defense attorneys about your options with regards to these programs then please contact us at (908)533-1064.
Passing Bad Check Defense Attorney in Watchung NJ
If you have been charged with passing a bad check, theft by deception, theft by extortion, shoplifting, criminal mischief or trespassing in Hunterdon or Somerset County, the Keith Oliver Criminal Law can help. We have been defending clients accused of crimes in courts throughout New Jersey for the better part of the last decade now. Our entire practice has been dedicated to defending those accused of crimes in courts throughout New Jersey. If you would like to speak to one of our Hunterdon County criminal defense lawyers about your options then please contact us at (908) 533-1064. We serve all of Hunterdon and Somerset County, including towns like Bedminster, Raritan, West Amwell, Flemington, Clinton, Montgomery, Hillsborough, Manville, Bridgewater and Lambertville.