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Passing Bad Checks

There are four criteria for getting charged with passing bad checks and only one need apply to your case. They are:

  •  You knew you didn’t have enough money in your account to cover the check
  •  The check refers to an account that doesn’t exist
  •  You wrote the check using an account that was opened with false information, or
  •  You were notified that the check bounced within 30 days after it was issued or within 30 days of the agreed-upon deposit date (whichever is later), and
  • You didn’t pay the amount owed within 10 days after receiving notice
Every day in central Ohio people are charged with passing bad checks offenses. Passing bad checks charges can range from a first-degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to 180 days in jail to a first-degree felony punishable by 3-11 years in prison.

If you are convicted of a passing bad checks offense, additional potential issues include:

  • Maintaining your current employment
  • Licensure issues in some professions
  • Difficulty getting a good job in the future
  • Difficulty and possible denial in immigration and naturalization proceedings
Simply put, if you are convicted of a passing bad checks offense, you run the risk of being deemed untrustworthy for the rest of your life. Therefore, it is critical that you to give your theft charge the level of importance it deserves.

The Ohio fraud lawyers with LHA take a two pronged approach to all passing bad checks cases. First and foremost, we will figure out what mistakes the police or detectives made and what legal issues can be raised on your behalf.

We do this by requesting discovery from the prosecutor. The discovery will generally consist of police reports, additional investigative notes, video surveillance and recorded interviews. As our client, you will receive a copy of everything received from the prosecutor for your review.

Based on the legal weaknesses in the State of Ohio’s case and any other mitigating factors, we will negotiate the best possible plea available with the prosecutor for you to consider in resolving your case.

If your case cannot be resolved satisfactorily with a plea, it would then proceed to a motion hearing (a hearing where the judge issues a ruling on an evidentiary issue) or a trial to the judge or jury, depending on the circumstances.

The second approach taken by our Ohio fraud lawyers is to identify whether you have a substance abuse problem. If so and that was a factor in your commission of the passing bad checks offense, we will try to negotiate your admittance into a treatment program in lieu of jail, prison or potentially a conviction in your case.

For over a decade, the Ohio fraud lawyers with Luftman, Heck and Associates have successfully represented clients charged with passing bad checks. That extensive previous experience will enable us to better help you.

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If you’ve been charged with passing bad checks, it’s important to know what you’re up against. If you have any questions left unanswered by this page, or if you need a competent, experienced attorney to fight for you in court, please contact us at or via email at advice@columbuscriminalattorney.com.

Value of the checks:

This is a misdemeanor of the first degree and carries the following penalties:
  • A jail sentence of up to 180 days
    • In its place, your judge may sentence you to probation or other community control punishments
  • At most, a fine of $1,000
This is a felony of the fifth degree and carries the following penalties:
  • A prison term of six months to one year
    • In its place, your judge may sentence you to probation or other community control punishments
  • At most, a fine of $2,500
This is a felony of the fourth degree and carries the following penalties:
  • A prison term of six to 18 months
    • In its place, your judge may sentence you to probation or other community control punishments
  • At most, a fine of $5,000
This is a felony of the third degree and carries the following penalties:
  • A prison term of nine months to three years
  • A fine of $5,000 to $10,000
Have a question we didn’t answer below? Feel free to email us or call us and we’ll help you out.

If you have never been charged with Passing Bad Checks, jail time is rare. For this, you’ll generally face a fine, community control sanctions and/or probation.

Each subsequent time you are charged with Passing Bad Checks, it increases your chance of receiving jail time, however

If you are not a citizen of the United States, a theft conviction could have a significant impact on you. It could possibly lead to your deportation, exclusion or denial of naturalization upon a guilty or no contest plea.

A theft conviction will have a serious and potentially lifelong impact on you in many different ways. Any job that you will apply for will likely be able to see the conviction and you will be flagged as untrustworthy.

If you are asked on any job application if you have been charged with a criminal offense, or an offense involving dishonesty, you will likely have to discuss your theft conviction. Bottom line: your ability to get a job can be permanently damaged with a theft conviction.

Possibly. It depends on a couple of different factors. First, are there issues with the evidence? If the prosecutor does not feel they can prove all of the elements of the theft offense you are charged with, they might consider dismissing the charge or reducing it to a lesser, unrelated offense.

Second, if you have not been previously charged, it may be possible to convince the prosecutor that this is truly an out-of-character incident that could irreparably harm your future. The prosecutor may then choose to dismiss the charge upon certain conditions or amend the charge to a lesser, unrelated offense.

While having your case lessened or dismissed is definitely better than being convicted of theft, any employer will likely be able to access information about the case. If asked, you would still have to explain the circumstances during job interviews as well.
To further and fully protect yourself and your record, a motion to seal or expunge the record of your case needs to be filed at the appropriate time after the case is resolved.
If the motion is filed and the judge grants it, all of the information concerning your case should be removed. Your criminal record should then be cleared.

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Luftman, Heck & Associates LLP
580 E Rich St Fl 2
Columbus, OH 43215-5335
advice@columbuscriminalattorney.com

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FAX: (614) 413-2886