Worthless Checks

We’ve all made mistakes and tried to pay for something we ended up not being able to afford. Maybe you misread how much was in your account, or an unexpected charge hit overnight. Either way, being told your card was declined or your check bounced is embarrassing. Most of the time, simply covering the outstanding cost along with a small fine will absolve you of the damage caused by a worthless check.

However, writing a bad check on purpose will result in criminal prosecution. You could spend up to five years in prison depending on how much the check was supposed to be worth. Not only this but issuing a worthless check is a crime of mistrust, which will not reflect well on a criminal background check.

Criminal Defense Attorney in Apple Valley

Were you accused of writing a worthless check? Did you not intend to do so, yet the police did not believe you? If so, you have come to the right place. James Blumberg is a dedicated criminal defense lawyer with over a decade of experience in the field. He will aggressively advocate on your behalf and prove you did not intend to write a bad check.

Getting started is easy. Call (952) 431-7758 to schedule a free case evaluation. We are based in Apple Valley but also help clients in areas such as Minneapolis, Anoka and Chaska.

Information Center

Back to Top

Elements of Issuance of Dishonored Checks

Writing a worthless check is a crime involving elements of theft and fraud. The offense, legally known as issuance of dishonored checks, is the act of writing a check with the intention of not paying. This means you knowingly passed off as true a check you knew would bounce. Writing a worthless check is an easy crime to commit unknowingly, especially when you are juggling various bank accounts. Thankfully the North Star State understands this and grants you a five-day grace period to pay back the cost.

Prosecutors will seek criminal charges if you fail to pay back the money owed within five days. A unique aspect of this offense is the state will need to prove you intended to write the bad check. Evidence proving you intended to issue the bad check includes:

  • You did not have an account with the bank the check was from.
  • You did not have sufficient funds or credit at the time of purchase, and you failed to pay back the full amount within five business days.
  • You failed to pay back the full amount by the time the court was notified of the act.

Back to Top

Can I Go to Jail for Writing a Worthless Check?

The state penalizes issuance of dishonored checks similar to theft. How you are charged and penalized will depend on the value of the worthless check. The greater the value you tried to pass off as true, the harsher penalties you can expect.  It’s worth noting writing more than one bad check within six months will be aggregated. This means if you wrote three bad checks within six months, the value of all the checks will be added together and charged as one single offense.

Issuance of a dishonored check is penalized by the following:

  • No more than $250: Writing a dishonored check worth no more than $250 is a misdemeanor punishable by the following:
    • Up to 90 days in jail; or
    • A fine of up to $1,000; or
    • Both a fine and incarceration
  • More than $250 but less than $500: Issuing a worthless check between $250 and $500 is a gross misdemeanor punishable by the following:
    • Up to a year in jail; or
    • A fine of up to $3,000; or
    • Both a fine and incarceration
  • More than $500: Passing off as true a worthless check for more than $500 is a felony punishable by the following:
    • Up to five years in prison; or
    • A fine of up to $10,000; or
    • Both a fine and incarceration

Back to Top

Additional Resources

Issuance of Dishonored Checks | Minnesota Statutes – It’s advised you read up on the legal text governing an offense you have been charged for. You can read the section of the Minnesota Statutes governing issuance of a dishonored check by following the link. You can read the precise legal definition of the offense, find out when account information may be released to law enforcement and exceptions to the crime. The statute can be read on the Minnesota Legislature website.

Check Forgery | Minnesota Statutes – Check forgery is an offense similar to issuance of dishonored checks. The only difference is the check was used under a false identity and with the intention to defraud. You can learn more about the offense by following the link. You can also gain access to other state laws.

Back to Top

Criminal Defense Lawyer in Apple Valley 

Take the first step in your defense and contact James Blumberg Law. You will need legal representation on your side, even if you are guilty. As a former prosecutor, James Blumberg knows how the other side works. He will use this experience to your advantage and formulate a defense plan in your best interest.

Call (952) 431-7758 to get started. Some of the areas we serve include Dakota County, Anoka County, Carver County and Hennepin County.

Back to Top