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    February 25, 2016

    Consequences of Writing a Bad Check in South Carolina

    greenville sc criminal defense lawyer bad checks

    Between juggling the demands of work, family, and social life, it can be hard to stay on top of the details sometimes. Many of us have our paychecks automatically deposited into our checking accounts, and we use ATM cards or credit cards to make many of our purchases. For many people, balancing a checkbook is a skill they never learned, and even those who are masters at balancing their accounts down to the penny can occasionally run into problems when money they expected to be in their accounts is not there. Unfortunately, giving someone a bad check to cover products, bills, or expenses can result in serious criminal charges, as well as fines and a potentially damaging criminal record. If you are facing charges or have received notices concerning bad checks, you need a strong criminal defense attorney to defend you against charges of fraud and to protect your record, as well as your name and reputation.  

    Writing Worthless Checks

    Handling financial matters is a skill, and some people are better at it than others. Writing worthless checks could result from a banking error or mix up, or could result from miscalculations in terms of math or budgeting. It is not uncommon for people facing difficult financial circumstances to write a check, thinking the money will be there by the time the check clears the bank. When that money fails to materialize, you could find yourself in serious legal trouble. In Greenville County, the Office of the Solicitor for the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit operates the Worthless Check Program. This program handles collection efforts for worthless checks on behalf of the people who have received them. Checks that may end up in the Worthless Check Program include:

    • Checks returned by the bank due to insufficient funds;
    • Checks in which the account the check was drawn on is closed; and
    • Checks in which a stop payment order was made.

    If you are contacted by the solicitor’s office in regards to a worthless check, it is important to make payment on the check as soon as possible to avoid criminal charges. Payments should be made directly to the solicitor’s office, and not to the person who you originally wrote the check.

    Fraudulent Checks

    Being accused of writing a fraudulent check is a more serious matter. Under the South Carolina Code of Laws, Section 34-11-60, you could be facing criminal charges of fraud in the following circumstances:

    • Writing a check on a non-existent account;
    • Writing a check on an account for which you are not authorized;
    • Using an incorrect or insufficient signature when signing a check; or
    • Writing a check on an account with insufficient funds.

    Penalties for writing a fraudulent check vary based on both the amount of the check, as well as the existence of any prior convictions. A first offense is punishable by fines ranging from $50 to $500 and as much as thirty days in jail. Repeat offenders may face fines as much as  $2,000 and anywhere from 30 days to 10 years in jail.

    Contact Our Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney Today

    If you are facing criminal charges as the result of writing a fraudulent or worthless check, contact our experienced South Carolina criminal defense attorney today. Greenville attorney Lauren M. Taylor of Lauren Taylor Law helps clients caught in legal predicaments and can advise you on the best course of action in order to protect you from facing serious fines and criminal charges, while protecting your good name and reputation. Get the aggressive legal representation you need and the professional, comprehensive service you deserve! Serving Greenville and all of Upstate South Carolina, call or contact our office online today for an initial consultation.