If you, or someone you care about, has been charged (or may be) with Unlawful Issuance of Bad Checks in King County, Skagit County, Snohomish County, or Whatcom County, call Ashbach Law Offices, LLC today at (360) 659-4950 for a free, no-pressure case evaluation.
In Washington State, the crime of Unlawful Issuance of Bad Checks is divided up into two levels of seriousness; it can be a Class C Felony or a gross misdemeanor, depending on the amount of the bad check. Anything over $750 is punishable as a felony, while $750 and under is punishable as a gross misdemeanor. Conviction of either charge carries with it mandatory full restitution.
The Unlawful Issuance of Bad Checks statute makes it a crime to make or deliver a check without sufficient funds or credit with the bank to meet the check amounts. Unlawful Issuance of Bad Checks may be punishable as either a Felony or a gross misdemeanor, typically depending upon the dollar amount of the checks that were made or delivered.
Issuing a “stop payment” order on a check or draft also falls under the scope of the Unlawful Issuance of Bad Checks statute, although there is typically a 20-day “cure period” to settle the financial situation.
“Credit” means an arrangement or understanding with the bank or depository upon which a check or draft is drawn for the payment of such check or draft.
Whenever any series of transactions that constitute unlawful issuance of a bad check are part of a common scheme or plan, the transactions may be aggregated in one count and the sum of the value of all the transactions shall be the value considered in determining whether the appropriate charge is a gross misdemeanor or a felony.
Unlawful Issuance of Bad Checks First Degree
Unlawful Issuance of Bad Checks First Degree is typically charged when the dollar amount alleged to be involved is over $750. However, as above, when many bad checks are alleged to have been issued as part of a common scheme or plan, the dollar value may be aggregated, which can elevate several gross misdemeanors into a felony. Unlawful Issuance of Bad Checks First Degree is a Class C Felony. Assuming no special enhancements, a first-time offender would be looking at a standard range jail sentence of 0-60 days.
Unlawful Issuance of Bad Checks Second Degree
Unlawful Issuance of Bad Checks Second Degree is typically charged when the dollar amount alleged to be involved is under $750. It is a gross misdemeanor, punishable by up to 364 days in jail and/or a $5000 fine. There is no mandatory minimum jail sentence. The minimum fine is $375, or 150% of the amount of the check, whichever is greater. Upon a second conviction, the mandatory minimum fine is $1125.
The court is required to impose full restitution if a person charged is convicted.
Under RCW 9A.56.060, there are two ways to commit this crime. Statutorily:
- 1) Any person who shall with intent to defraud, make, or draw, or utter, or deliver to another person any check, or draft, on a bank or other depository for the payment of money, knowing at the time of such drawing, or delivery, that he or she has not sufficient funds in, or credit with the bank or other depository, to meet the check or draft, in full upon its presentation, is guilty of unlawful issuance of bank check. The word “credit” as used herein shall be construed to mean an arrangement or understanding with the bank or other depository for the payment of such check or draft, and the uttering or delivery of such a check or draft to another person without such fund or credit to meet the same shall be prima facie evidence of an intent to defraud.
- 2) Any person who shall with intent to defraud, make, or draw, or utter, or deliver to another person any check, or draft on a bank or other depository for the payment of money and who issues a stop-payment order directing the bank or depository on which the check is drawn not to honor the check, and who fails to make payment of money in the amount of the check or draft or otherwise arrange a settlement agreed upon by the holder of the check within twenty days of issuing the check or draft is guilty of unlawful issuance of a bank check