While it may seem like a harmless crime, or one that is victimless, issuing or passing a bad check in New Jersey is a serious crime. So-called “hot checks” can cost local and national economy millions of dollars in lost funds, which were due for used for goods and services from individuals and businesses.
The laws on hot checks vary from state to state. Some states have a minimum amount for the action to be considered criminal, while other states have smaller penalties for smaller dollar amounts and harsher penalties for higher dollar amounts. Some states even allow the dollar amounts of multiple checks of a series to be added together for a more serious offense.
Penalties in NJ
New Jersey is a state where your penalty correlates with the dollar amount of your hot check.
If you tried issuing a bad check or money order for less than $200, it is considered a disorderly persons offense.
If the amount was higher than $200 and less than $1,000, that offense becomes a fourth degree crime. The penalty will become a third degree crime of you issued a bad check or money order greater than $1,000 but less than $75,000.
And finally, a hot check or money order valued greater than $75,000 could mean you get convicted of a second degree crime. Each conviction carries jail time and serious fine that increase with the degree of your crime.
Beyond that, a conviction of such a crime will remain on your criminal record, which will greatly affect your future, especially when it comes to employment. Many employers view fraud or financial crimes as an outright bar to employment.
Defending Against a Hot Check Charge
If you are facing charges related to a hot check or money order, you can take comfort in the fact that defenses do exist. In order to have the strongest defense though, you must get the strongest legal representation.
That is why contacting John W. Tumelty is your smartest option. Mr. Tumelty handles all sorts of white collar crime in New Jersey and will put his experience to work for you. He understands just how severe the penalties can be and the best way to beat your charges.
He is available 24 hours a day so do not waste another second. Call 609-385-4010 to schedule a consultation today.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.