In Pennsylvania it is a crime to write a check from a false bank account or from an account without sufficient funds. If you receive a notice of insufficient funds and make good on the check within 10 days, you will not face any criminal or civil action. If you write a bad check and do not make good on it, the type of criminal action the Commonwealth may take against you will vary based on the amount of the check.
In Pennsylvania, bad checks under $200 constitute a summary offense. Bad checks between $200 and $500 are a third degree misdemeanor. Bad checks between $500 and $1,000 are a second degree misdemeanor. Bad checks between $1,000 and $75,000 are a first degree misdemeanor, and bad checks over $75,000 are a felony.
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If you should write a bad check, it is likely that you will be required, as a part of the criminal offense, to pay back the party who you passed a bad check to. If no criminal charges are brought, or if you do not compensate the offended party, civil action may result. If you have on the receiving end of a bad check, and criminal action is pending against the party who wrote the check, it is better to wait for the criminal action to conclude before bringing civil action, as the court may force the other party to make good on the check as a part of the criminal action.
Statute of Limitations
In Pennsylvania, bad checks are a form of fraud. The statute of limitations for fraud, in relation to bad checks, is two years from the time the receiving party has discovered that a check is bad. The statute of limitations is also two years for misdemeanor crimes, and it's three years for felonies related to fraud.
If you are found guilty of passing bad checks you will not only have to pay a fine and the amount of the original check, you will also be forced to pay interest on the amount of the check from the time the check was written until the conclusion of court proceedings.
- Findlaw: Pennsylvania Civil Statute of Limitations Laws
- Expert Law: Pennsylvania Statute of Limitations for Civil and Personal Injury Actions - An Overview; Aaron Larson; July 2004
- National Check Fraud Center: Bad Check Laws by States
- Butera Law: Pennsylvania's Bad Check Statute; Kevin Palmer
- Pennsylvania Criminal Defense Lawyer: Fight Your Theft / Theft by Deception Charge in Pennsylvania!
- Lancaster County: District Attorney of Lancaster County Bad Check Program
- Onecle: Bad checks - 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 4105
- Emkey Law Firm: Forgery, Bad Checks and Fraud