A checking account allows you to write checks to pay individuals or businesses. A checking account also comes with the responsibility to be sure you have sufficient funds in your account to cover any checks you write. If you do not have enough funds in your bank account to cover a check, it is considered to be a bad check.
If you write a bad check, your bank may pay the check amount anyway and expect to collect the check amount plus overdraft fees from you. However, if your bank does not pay the check amount, it will be returned to the bank of the person or business to which you wrote the check. The amount will then be deducted from the payee's bank account and the actual check returned to the payee.
Theft by Deception
Kentucky's law considers bad checks to be theft by deception. The payee must try to cash or deposit the check within 30 days from when it was written. If the check is returned for insufficient funds, the payee must notify you in writing and send the notice through the United States mail. Seven days after mailing such notice, you are assumed to have received the notice. You then have 10 days to make good on the check by paying the payee the original check amount plus "any merchant's posted bad check handling fee not to exceed 50 dollars." Additionally, if a county attorney notifies you of a bad check, the county attorney "may charge a fee to the maker of 50 dollars."
If you write a bad check for less than $500, Kentucky considers it to be a misdemeanor. The statute of limitations for a misdemeanor crime in Kentucky is one year after it is committed. Kentucky defines the date the violation was committed as "when every element occurs."
If you write a bad check for $500 to $9,999.99, Kentucky considers it to be a Class D felony, A bad check is a Class C felony if written for $10,000 or more. In either case, there is no statute of limitations for felony crimes in Kentucky.
Diane Scott started writing professionally in 2009 and has had articles published at Type-A Parent and other websites. She has extensive business and accounting experience. Scott holds a Bachelor of Science in psychology from Brigham Young University.