Bergen County Bad Checks Attorneys
The governing statute for the offense of issuing bad checks in New Jersey is N.J.S.A. 2C:21-5. The degree of the offense in which you are charged with will depend directly on the amount of money lost, it can be either an indictable (felony) or disorderly persons offense (misdemeanor). Not only will a conviction for this offense leave you with a criminal record, however, it can also lead to potential prison time. The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall is an experienced Bergen County criminal defense firm. We have the man power and experience to successfully protect your liberty since we have:
- Over two-hundred (200) years of combined experience
- A team of ten (10) criminal defense attorneys that devote their entire practice to criminal law
- Our firm has seven (7) former prosecutors
- Three (3) of our attorneys were former county prosecutors and held directorial positions of the Drug, Gang, and Gun Task Force, Major Crimes Division, Trial Division, Juvenile Division
- Three (3) of our attorneys were former municipal prosecutor in over twenty-five (25) towns
- One (1) of our attorneys is Certified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as a Criminal Trial Attorney, a distinction held by less than 1% of attorneys in this State
- One (1) of our lawyers was recently selected to Super Lawyers Rising Stars 2020 list for New Jersey which is a highly credentialed, peer-influenced, third-party validated, and a patented process that only 2.5% of the attorneys in this New Jersey are selected to this list
- Selected to the National Trial Lawyers Top 100 and Top 40 Under 40
- Selected to the 10 Best Law Firms in New Jersey for Client Satisfaction by the American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys
If you or someone you know has been charged with issuing bad checks, credit card fraud, theft by deception, burglary, robbery, shoplifting or receiving stolen property in towns like Fair Lawn, Paramus, Lodi, Cliffside Park, North Arlington we can help. If your or someone you know has been charged in New Jersey it is imperative that you speak to a qualified traffic attorney about your options, please feel free to call us at 201-429-9783, we’re available 24/7.
Issuing Bad Checks Lawyers Fort Lee NJ: N.J.S.A. 2C:21-5
There are three material elements that the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt before a defendant can be convicted of issuing a bad check. Specifically, the state must prove:
- That the defendant issued/passed a check or some other form of an order for the payment of money;
- That the defendant knew the said check/order would not be honored; &
- Lastly, what the amount of the check in question was.
- It is important to note here that the legislatures have altered the statute, and the state no longer carries the burden of proving that the defendant had the intent to defraud. It will be sufficient for the state to prove that the defendant knew the check would not be valid.
- Further, the state will also benefit from two major presumptions.
- First, there will be an underline presumption that the defendant knew the check was invalid if the defendant did not have a valid bank account at the time the check was issued.
- There will also be a presumption that the defendant knew he/she was issuing a bad check if the payment in question was refused by the bank due to a lack of sufficient funds and the defendant failed to make good within ten days after receiving the said notice.
Degrees of the Offense:
- The defendant will be charged with a second degree crime if the money in question was more than $75,000.
- If convicted, you or your loved one will face a maximum of ten (10) years in state prison.
- The defendant will be charged with a third degree crime if the money in question was between $500 – $75,000.
- If convicted, you or your loved one will face a maximum of five (5) years in state prison
- The defendant will be charged with a fourth degree crime if the money in question was between $200 – $500.
- If convicted, you or your loved one will face a maximum of eighteen (18) months in state prison.
- The defendant will be charged with a disorderly persons offense if the money in question was less than $200.
- If convicted, you or your loved one will face a maximum of six (6) months in the Bergen County Jail.
If you or a loved one is charged with a second, third, or fourth degree, then the case will most likely take place at the Bergen County Superior Court, located at 10 Main Street, Hackensack, NJ. The State will be represented by the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office.
If you or a loved one is charged with a disorderly persons offense, the case will most likely be heard at the Fort Lee Municipal Court. The Fort Lee Municipal Court is located at 309 Main Street, Fort Lee, NJ. The Municipal Prosecutor for Fort Lee is Arthur Balsamo, and the Judge for Fort Lee is the Honorable John R. DeSheplo.
Fines & Penalties:
As outlined above, a crime of the second degree carries with it a presumption of incarceration and that period can be anywhere from five to ten years in a state prison. Conversely, a crime of the third degree carries with it a presumption of non-incarceration. Yet, that presumption can be overcome by the State, and if it is, a defendant may be sentenced anywhere from three to five years in prison. Similar, a crime of the fourth degree carries a presumption of non-incarceration, but again if that presumption is overcome the defendant will be sentenced up to eighteen months in prison. Lastly, a defendant convicted of a disorderly persons offense may face up to six months in the Bergen County Jail.
With that being said, if you or a loved one is charged with an indictable because of issuing a bad check, they may be eligible for pre-trial intervention, also known as PTI. However, this eligibility is usually contingent on her/his ability to make restitution, as well as their prior criminal record. PTI is a diversionary program in New Jersey which allows individuals who are eligible to bypass the traditional methods of prosecution and be placed on probation. If they complete the probationary term without issue the pending charges will be outright dismissed. The defendant will walk away from this incident without a criminal record.
If you or a loved one is charge with a disorderly persons offense because of issuing a bad check, they may be eligible for a conditional dismissal, also known as a CD. However, this eligibility may be contingent, again, on his/her ability to make restitution, as well as their prior criminal record. Conditional dismissal is a diversionary program as well. This too allows people who are eligible to bypass the traditional methods of prosecution and be placed on probation. Although, in order for an individual to enter the conditional dismissal program, they’re required to plead to the charge. Thus, if he/she fails out of the conditional discharge, the case will only be reopened to sentence him/her.
Fort Lee NJ Bad Checks Lawyer
The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall has been successfully defending individuals charged with passing bad check throughout Bergen County, including but not limited to Fort Lee and other towns like, Hackensack, Teaneck, Saddle Brook, Lyndhurst and Bergenfield for over fifteen years. Please feel free to contact our Bergen County office at 530 Main Street, Suite 205, Fort Lee, NJ for a free initial consultation 201-429-9783.