Beating a Bad Check Charge: What You Need to Know

Beating a Bad Check Charge: What You Need to Know

Did you ever write a check and then realized that you had closed that account?

Have you ever written a check and didn’t have the money available?

Have you ever seen the movie, Catch Me If You Can? It’s an exciting film that is based on a true story. Frank Abagnale is a real man who impersonated pilots, a lawyer, and wrote a lot of bad checks.

If we are honest with ourselves, we’ve all done it. We’ve all lost track of how much money is actually in our back accounts. Whether we swiped our debit cards or wrote a check, we may not have realized how much money was available.

In this article, I will be answering questions like, what is a bad check? What is the penalty? Is it a felony charge or a misdemeanor to write a bad check? Are there defenses that can be used to beat a bad check charge?

Keep reading for the answers to those questions and more.

What Is a Bad Check?

A bad check is when you have written a check from a bank that you do not have an account with or you write a check from your bank account and do not have the sufficient funds.

While Frank Abagnale ended up being arrested by the French police and imprisoned, there are ways to beat a bad check charge and keep you out of a prison.

What Is the Penalty For a Bad Check Charge?

If you are convicted for a bad check charge, you face up to 2 years in prison and or a $500 fine. It is a felony charge.

What are Some Defenses?

Here are a few examples on how to defend and beat a bad check charge.

  1. In the case where you wrote a check and there weren’t sufficient funds in your account, it can be argued that you were not aware of the lack of sufficient funds. The prosecution would have to prove that without a doubt you knew you didn’t have the money in your account.
  2. Another way is to consider beating a bad check charge is to pay restitution to the person or bank in exchanged for the charges being dropped. It is more likely that the person or institution would want their money back rather than go to court. You may be able to set up a payment plan or even pay back a percentage.

Frank Abagnale’s Story

According to, Frank Abagnale left home with only $200 in his bank account. His reasoning for writing hundreds of bad checks started off by his desire to support himself.

Sometimes making ends meet is harder than we think. Writing bad checks may have just been a simply math error.

One of the most amazing parts of Frank Abagnale’s story is how he after writing $2.5 million dollars worth of bad checks, he turned his life around. He later worked for the FBI, got married and had children. Here is a quote from Frank Abagnale himself.

“We all grow up. Hopefully we get wiser. Age brings wisdom and fatherhood changes one’s life completely. I consider my past immoral, unethical and illegal. It is something I am not proud of. I am proud that I have been able to turn my life around and in the past 25 years, helped my government, my clients, thousands of corporations and consumers deal with the problems of white collar crime and fraud.”
~ Frank Abagnale 2002

If you need any assistance in fighting your bad check charges, please give my office a call today. I am here to help.

248-348-7400 or 586-530-1000