What Are the Penalties for Passing Bad Checks in Missouri?

Passing bad checks can take various forms, but they most commonly involve writing checks on accounts that already are closed or that have insufficient funds in them to cover the checks written. This offense requires an element of intent, meaning that you must have the intent to defraud others when you write a bad check. In other words, you must know that the account on which you’re writing the check is closed or has insufficient funds to pay the check that you have written. This offense can be a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the value of the checks and the circumstances surrounding the offense.

Generally, pursuant to Mo. Rev. Stat. § 570.120, passing bad checks is a Class A misdemeanor, unless the amount of the check, or the aggregate amount of checks written within a 10-day period, is $750 or more, or you had no bank account at the time you wrote the check, in which case the offense becomes a Class E felony.

In the course of a prosecution for passing bad checks, the prosecuting attorney may collect the face value of the check and a reasonable service charge to return to the party to whom the check was issued. The prosecutor also can collect an administrative handling cost, which varies according to the value of the check, but cannot exceed $75.00, as well as a $5.00 fee per check for deposit in the Missouri office of prosecution services fund.

If not prosecuted, the party to whom the check is issued may collect the face value of the check, a $25.00 fee, and a fee equal to the amount that the depository institutional charged the party for the return of each unpaid or dishonored check.Missouri DWI & Criminal Law Center provides strong legal representation on a regular basis for individuals who are charged with traffic, DWI crimes, and other criminal offenses. It is our priority is to represent your interests and protect your rights.  Call us at (816) 322-8008 and schedule an appointment to meet with us about your case today.

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