What Makes a Bad Check a Felony?

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Depending on what state you live in, the amount for a bad check to be considered a felony varies. For example, in Nevada, writing a bad check for $250 or more is considered a felony. In Fairfax County, Virginia, writing a bad check for $200 or more is considered a felony. (See References below to check your state's law on bad checks.)

Owner of the Check

The owner of the bad check will be held responsible and possibly the one person that will be charged with the felony. Depending on the amount that the check was written for and if the recipient of the check wants to press charges against the person who wrote the check, a court may punish him for writing the check.

The Check

If your checkbook was stolen from you, report the loss immediately to your bank so the checks will not come back to you and you will not be liable. If needed, you can also notify the police department about the loss or theft so it can keep an open investigation. Once the check is written or passed and the authorities are notified by the business of the bad check, police can begin tracking the person who wrote the check.

Read More: How to Press Charges Against Someone for Writing You a Bad Check

The Crime

Writing a check without the funds or credit to cover it is a crime if the intent is to defraud. The crime of writing and delivering (uttering) a check with the intent to defraud, and without sufficient funds or credit, is a form of obtaining goods and money under false pretenses.

Is it a Serious Crime?

Yes. If the check is written for more than a particular amount in the state it was written, it is a felony and it will be investigated by the police department or other law enforcement agency.


As part of the investigation, police will need the check that is considered bad, and in some cases the victim who took the check must send a certified letter to the person that owns the bad check and demand a full payment within an amount of time (depending on the state law) of receipt of the letter. Then the victim of the bad check must have the reason the bank refused the check to begin with.