Writing Bad Checks

Oftentimes, people will write a check knowing that there are insufficient funds in the associated bank account. In some cases, the person is anticipating getting paid before the check is deposited and has every intention of making good on the payment. Other times, the person intentionally wrote a bad check on a closed account. In either case, this is considered an act of fraud and is punishable under Oklahoma law.

Does Intent Matter?

Writing a bad check—also called a “bogus” or “hot” check—is a criminal act, regardless of whether you intended for the check to bounce or not. The state of Oklahoma expects you to keep up with your bank account, and even floating a check in anticipation of funds being available to cover it can be considered fraud.

Punishments for Check Fraud

Just like any other act of fraud, the penalties for writing a hot check depend on the amount or value involved. Generally, the penalties break down as follows:

  • A value of less than $500 will be considered a misdemeanor punishable by one year in jail and up to $1,000 fine
  • A value between $500 and $1,000 is considered a felony and may be punished by a fine of $5,000, one year in jail and payment of restitution
  • A value of more than $1,000 is a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison

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