All states have bad check and credit card laws. A bad check type of crime might also be called a non-sufficient funds (NSF) check, bounced check, rubber check or a bogus check. A person who writes a bad check may be held liable for both civil and criminal penalties. In most cases, the guilty party would be the one who signed the check, but a third party may also hold liability if they co-sign and pass the check on to another person.
The use of a stolen or fraudulent credit card is also a crime in all 50 states, U.S. territories and Washington, D.C. These crimes fall under different statutes than bad check crimes. Each state is able to set up its own bad or fraudulent credit or debit card laws. Some of these crimes fall under identity theft laws.
State Laws About Bad Checks
Each state is able to pass and enforce its own laws around bad checks. In California, writing a bad check is a crime if the person knew that there was not enough money in the account to cover the amount written on the check. It is also a crime to forge a check or write a fake one. California allows the recipient of a bad check to file a lawsuit. The state also imposes criminal penalties.
In the state of South Carolina, it is also illegal for a person to write a check knowing that there are insufficient funds in the account to cover it. However, South Carolina requires that the recipient of the check prove a prima facie case. This refers to providing enough evidence for reasonable and probable cause until there is information to contradict the probable cause.
The state of Ohio includes debit card transactions in its bad check laws. Ohio also includes using a fake driver’s license or false identification as proof of identity when writing a check as criminal offenses. Providing false statements about addresses and other related information to a bank or other financial institution also constitutes a violation of Ohio’s bad checks laws.
State Laws About Bad or Fraudulent Credit Cards
In California, the state has credit, debit and access card laws prohibiting their fraudulent use. The state defines fraudulent use as using someone’s card without their consent, using your own card knowing that it has been revoked or expired, using your own card if you do not have enough funds or credit to cover the purchase amount and using a stolen or fraudulent card in order to get products, services or cash.
In the state of Ohio, these crimes fall under the laws entitled “Misuse of credit cards.” Ohio defines misuse of credit cards to be practicing deception in order to get the card, using an expired or revoked card, using another person’s card without consent or using a government credit card for personal purchases.
Working With a Criminal Defense Attorney
If you have been charged with writing bad checks or using bad credit cards, it is important to hire a criminal defense attorney. Some legal strategies include proving that you did not intend to commit fraud and proving mistaken identity.