Accused of Writing Bad Checks, Arizona Criminal Defense

Accused of Writing Bad Checks, Arizona Criminal Defense

If you have been charged with writing bad checks, fraud, or any white collar crime, your freedom and possibly your livelihood are on the line. It is critical that you understand the charges against you, the possible outcomes, and your rights. You need help navigating the criminal law process. Retaining an experienced criminal defense attorney is absolutely crucial when the force of the government is allied against you.

Accused of Writing Bad Checks, Arizona Criminal Defense

Under Arizona law, a person commits issuing a bad check if “the person issues or passes a check knowing that the person does not have sufficient funds in or on deposit with the bank or other drawee for the payment in full of the check as well as all other checks outstanding at the time of issuance.” A.R.S. §13-1807(A).

A person’s knowledge of insufficient funds may be presumed if:

  • The person did not have an account, or had a closed account, with the bank at the time he or she issued the check.
  • Payment was refused by the bank for lack of funds “on presentation within thirty days after issue and the issuer failed to pay the holder in full the amount due on the check.” R.S. §13-1808(A)(1)-(2).

Generally, issuing a bad check is a class 1 misdemeanor. However, issuing a bad check for $5,000 or more is considered a class 6 felony if the person does not pay the full amount of the check within 60 days after receiving notice of the outstanding check balance. A.R.S. §13-1807(E).

Defenses Against Prosecution for Issuing Bad Checks

Arizona’s criminal law statute on bad checks specifically lists three complete defenses to being prosecuted for issuing bad checks.

The first defense is that the person receiving the check has been told, or has “reason to believe” that the person issuing the check did not have sufficient funds in their account to ensure payment. A.R.S. §13-1807(B)(1). An example of this situation is when the person delivering the check asks the person receiving the check to hold on to it and not cash it right away. In this scenario, the payer informed the recipient that they had insufficient funds to cover the check amount.

The second defense against prosecution for issuing bad checks is when the check is postdated and sufficient funds are available on that later date to cover the full amount of the check. A.R.S. §13-1807(B)(2). It is not a crime to postdate a check when you know your account does not have sufficient funds, so long as you make sure you deposit enough money to cover the check by the future date.

The third defense is that the insufficiently of funds was the result of an adjustment to the person’s account by the banking institution without notice to the person. A.R.S. §13-1807(B)(3). If the bank made a withdrawal for fees, charges, or for some other reason without notifying the account holder, which resulted in insufficient funds for an outstanding check, that is a complete defense against prosecution for issuing a bad check.

Contact a White Collar Criminal Defense Attorney

If you have been charged with issuing bad checks or other fraud charges, contact our white collar criminal defense attorneys today. When we represent you, we will analyze and evaluate each detail of your case looking for ways that show you are not guilty of the crimes charged. Our firm is highly-respected in Arizona for our ability to handle complex cases and defend our clients against the most aggressive prosecutors.

To protect your rights if you have been charged with fraud or are currently under investigation, reach out to an Arizona law firm that has the experience and resources that you need on your side.

Contact us or call now (480) 219-1366 for a consultation.


The attorneys at Ashley D. Adams, PLC handle state criminal cases throughout Arizona and federal criminal cases throughout the United States, including Arizona, Oklahoma, Utah, and California.