Bad Checks

West Windsor NJ Bad Check Defense Lawyer

A bad check charge arises in West Windsor or another municipality if someone issues a check when they know it would not be honored by the drawing bank. There are many terms used to describe this scenario including paying with a bad check, bouncing a check and insufficient funds to cover a check. Irrespective of the label placed on this offense, it has the potential to cause serious problems if you are convicted. The attorneys at our Mercer County firm have the tools to insure that this does not occur. In addition to being former prosecutors with over a century of collective experience, the lawyers at the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall have successfully handled countless cases in West Windsor, Princeton, Trenton, Ewing, Lawrence and other area towns. An attorney who possesses the attributes to insure you have every chance of escaping a conviction is available to discuss your case at 609–683–8102. Contact us for a free consultation with a lawyer anytime 24/7.

Bad Check Offense in Mercer County

Bad check charges arise out of N.J.S.A. 2C:21-5 of the New Jersey Criminal Code. When an individual “issues or passes a check or similar sight order for the payment of money, or authorizes an electronic funds transfer, knowing that it will not be honored by the drawee”, he or she violates this law.


The prosecutor is not required to prove an intention to steal or commit a fraud. All that is necessary is for state to establish that the accused knew or reasonably should have known that the check would not be covered/honored.


There are several presumptions that are created under 2C:21-5. In this regard, it is presumed that the defendant knew the check would not be honored if the issuer did not have an account in effect when the check was issued. It is also presumed that the issuer had knowledge that the check was bad if he/she fails to cover it within 10 days of receiving notice that the check was dishonored.

Post Dated Check

When an individual postdates a check, he/she is notifying the recipient that there is insufficient funds to cover it and/or imposing a condition on payment. Accordingly, the presumptions set forth in 2C:21-5 do not apply where a check is postdated.

Degree of Crime

If the value of the check is $75,000 or more, the violation is a crime of the second degree. If the check is written for at least $1,000 but less than $75,000, the offense is a third degree crime. It is a fourth degree crime to write a check with a value of at least $200 but less than $1,000. A bad check for less than $200 is a disorderly persons offense.

Penalties for Writing a Bad Check

The penalties for a second degree bad check include a fine of up to $150,000 and 5-10 years in prison. Writing or issuing a third degree bad check results in a maximum fine of $15,000 and up to 5 years in prison. A fourth degree bad check carries a fine of up to $10,000 and up to 18 months of imprisonment. A disorderly persons offense under 2C:21-5 triggers a fine of up to $1,000 and up to 6 months in the Mercer County Jail.

Princeton NJ Bad Check Attorneys

Princeton may be a low crime community but that certainly does not eliminate white collar violations like writing a bad check. If you bounced a check there or in another local municipality, including West Windsor, Robbbinsville, Highstown, Hopewell or Pennington, hiring a lawyer with experience in the court system is a great tool for avoiding the consequences of a 2C:21-5 criminal conviction. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall invite you to call us to discuss our representing you in your bad check case. An attorney is available at your convenience to help you understand what can be accomplished.

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