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Check & Insufficient Funds (NSF) Crimes

There are several crimes listed in the Michigan Penal Code relating to banking and check crimes. Presenting a check against an account without sufficient funds (NSF) to cover the check is one of the most common crimes.

Check Crimes: Insufficient Funds, No Account, Forgery, Uttering & Publishing

Writing a check against an account with insufficient funds is considered a fraud and creates an inference that the party knew that the account had insufficient funds and intended to defraud or cheat someone.

Bad or bounced check cases can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony depending upon the dollar amount of the check involved or the prior criminal record of the offender for similar crimes. Offenses punishable by more than 1 year in jail are classified as felonies.

MCL 750.131 provides: A person shall not make, draw, utter, or deliver any check, draft, or order for the payment of money, to apply on account or otherwise, upon any bank or other depository with intent to defraud if the person does not have sufficient funds for the payment of the check, draft, or order when presentation for payment is made to the drawee. This subsection does not apply if the lack of funds is due to garnishment, attachment, levy, or other lawful cause and that fact was not known to the person when the person made, drew, uttered, or delivered the check, draft, or order. A person who violates this section is guilty of a crime as follows:

Amount of CheckMaximum Penalty
NSF check less than $10093 days and/or $500 fine
NSF check $100 but less than $5001 year and/or $1,000 fine
NSF check $500 or more2 years and/or $2,000 fine
3 or more NSF checks within 10 days2 years and/or $500 fine
No account check in any amount2 years and/or $500 fine
Uttering and Publishing, Forgery: Maximum Penalty 14 Years in Prison

Uttering and publishing is the name given for the crime associated with forged documents. When charged, the crime of uttering and publishing usually involves a forged check. However, the crime can also involve other forged or altered documents such as a deed or diploma. The crime of uttering and publishing does not require that the person who presented the document be the one who altered the document.

Defending Check Crimes: Honest Mistake is a Defense

Don’t despair if you are charged with a misdemeanor or felony check crime. We have been able to manage check crime cases to get you out of the court system with minimal consequences and in many cases, without a conviction.

In most cases, our clients charged with a check crime have a spending problem or are faced with a financial crisis and cannot make ends meet. Loss of employment, major medical setbacks and other reasons can lead to economic hardship.

There are a few other things to keep in mind if you are charged with a check crime:

  • Payment of the check by the debtor does not constitute a defense or ground for dismissal of the charges.
  • The statute of limitations for misdemeanor check crimes is 6 years.
  • The statute of limitations for felony check crimes is 10 years.

It is a defense to check crimes if the person who wrote the check had made an honest mistake about how much money he or she had in the account and did not have an intent to defraud or cheat anyone.

Get the Best Lawyers in Macomb County to Stand by Your Side

Remember, you are presumed innocent if you are charged with a crime. In addition, being accused of a crime doesn’t mean that you are guilty or will go to jail.

At ABDO LAW, we have extensive experience defending first offenders and repeat offenders charged with check crimes, theft crimes, fraud crimes and financial transaction device crimes in every court located in the counties of Macomb, Oakland, Wayne and St. Clair. In Macomb County (37th District Court: Warren, 41A District Court: covering Shelby Township, Macomb Township, Sterling Heights, 41B District Court: Clinton Township, 42-1 District Court: Romeo, and 42-2 District Court: New Baltimore) jail and a conviction can be avoided upon payment of restitution.

EMAIL or CALL for a FREE CONFIDENTIAL CONSULTATION. Phone messages are forwarded to our attorneys. We offer same day, evening, weekend appointments, jail visits and the ability to retain us over the internet. Payment plans and all credit cards accepted.

CALL: Metro Detroit: 586-412-5555 or Toll Free: 844-Got-Abdo

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The level of service exceeded my expectations, your devotion to my refusal to settle for a lessor misdemeanor was reassuring and inspired, and the team's creative interpretation of the law in finding a comparable civil infraction was legendary. It was a five-star experience. Thank you for refusing to settle when I was innocent of my accused crime. Satisfied Client, Assault Charge DISMISSED
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