Whenever you write a check or sign a check over to someone else, knowing that the check is invalid is a crime in Ohio. You must have the purpose to defraud when writing or passing these checks in order for you to be found guilty. Ohio Revised Code 2913.11 is called passing bad checks and the penalties you face depend on the dollar amount of the check or checks. Passing bad checks is a misdemeanor of the first degree so long as the total amount is less than $1000.
When passing a bad check or multiple checks to a single person, passing bad checks becomes a felony at the $1000 mark. When passing a bad check or checks to multiple people, passing bad checks becomes a felony at the $1500 mark.
If you no longer have an account to back the checks you are writing or you know there are insufficient funds in the account, it will be presumed that you knew it would be dishonored. One way to protect yourself is to know your account balance at all times. Never write a check that will overdraw your account. If you accidentally overdraw your account, pay off the debt within 10 days of finding out the check was turned down. Additionally, be careful when stopping payments on checks. Do not write a check knowing that you are just going to stop the payment.
If you have been charged with passing bad checks in Ohio, it is important to talk to an experienced passing bad checks attorney. Call The Maher Law Firm at 614-205-2208 for a free consultation with a passing bad checks defense attorney.