Table of Contents:
- Alabama Statute of Limitations for Bad Checks
- Statute of Limitations for Bad Checks in Michigan
- Statute of Limitations on a Bad Check in Texas
- Statute of Limitations on Bad Checks in Kentucky
- Statute of Limitations for Bad Checks in the State of Indiana
- The Statute of Limitations for Bad Checks in Arkansas
Statute of Limitations
According to Alabama's Civil Code Section 7-3-118, the statute of limitations to collect on bad checks is six years. Section 7-3-118 (a) states "An action to enforce the obligation of a party to pay a note payable at a definite time must be commenced within six years after the due date or dates stated in the note..." Meaning, if payment was made in the form of a check that was not valid, the person or company owed the money can bring monetary action against the person who wrote the bad check within six years of the due date.
It is the responsibility of the party who is owed the money to make the demand for payment if the check is not valid. If a principal or interest payment has been made by the obligated party to the owed party, then the owed party can still collect on the bad check if it is over the six-year limit. If a demand for payment was never made for a period of 10 years, then the party owed cannot make a claim to collect.
Types of Checks
If payment was made with a certified check, teller's check, cashier's check or a traveler's check, then the demand for payment must be made within three years. If the check was not due until a certain date, even if the date of the bad check was before the due date, the statute of limitations commences from the due date and not the date of the check.
If there is a type of theft involved with the tender of the bad check, the party owed has three years to take action against the fraudulent party. According to subsection (g) of Alabama Civil Code Section 7-3-118, "Unless governed by other law regarding claims for indemnity or contribution, an action for conversion of an instrument, for money had and received, or like action based on conversion, for breach of warranty, or to enforce an obligation, duty or right is not governed by this section and must be commenced within three years after the cause of action accrues."
According to Alabama statute, if a check presented for payment was late and the person owed accepts the payment, the check is not considered to be bad as long as it can be cashed. The person accepting the late check made the check valid by accepting payment under the circumstances.
Exceptions to the Expiration of Arrest Warrants
If a warrant for arrest in a case of fraud (which includes the issuing of bad checks) is issued but not executed, it is rendered null after six years, provided the accused has lived in Michigan and has been visible during that time. Being "visible" means the person has not been hiding. The accused, for example, has a verifiable address, may have a job, is not living under an assumed name and has not changed the name.
Bad Check Laws in Michigan
Under Michigan law, a person who knowingly writes a check with insufficient funds to cover it may have to make good on the amount of the check and pay double damages if the check is for an amount between $50 and $500 dollars. The penalty applies only if a demand for payment is sent by certified mail and is not paid within 30 days. The form of the written notice, established by MSA 27A.2952, is as follows:
"On _(date) a check drawn by you for $ _ was returned to us dishonored for [ ] not sufficient funds [ ] no account. If you do not pay to us, within 30 days of the time you receive this notice, the full amount of the check in cash, we have the right to bring an action against you for 2 times the amount of the dishonored check ($__) or $50.00, whichever is greater, or to make a criminal complaint against you. If you do pay to us, within 30 days of the time you receive this notice, the full amount of the check in cash, we will not take further action against you."
The letter does not constitute an arrest warrant. If you have received such a letter in the past, you may or may not have a warrant out for your arrest. If a warrant has been issued but no attempt to execute it has been made in six years, and if you have lived in Michigan in a normal manner, the warrant is null.
Exceptions to Limits on the Statute of Limitations
There is no time limit on when a warrant for arrest may be issued in cases of murder, conspiracy or solicitation to commit murder, first-degree criminal sexual conduct or terrorism violations under the Michigan anti-terrorism act, MCL 750.543a to 750.543z. There is no time limit on when a warrant for arrest may be issued for any violation of MCL 750.200 to 750.212a that is punishable by life imprisonment. MCL 750.200 to 750.212a lists a variety of offenses that might or might not be terrorism-related. Offenses for which life is a possible sentence include such felonies as setting or using a harmful device causing serious impairment, setting or using an irritant or irritant device causing death, and sending or placing an explosive causing serious impairment.
The In-State Rule
According to Section 767-24 (6), "Any period during which the party charged did not usually and publicly reside within this state is not part of the time within which the respective indictments may be found and filed."
Theft by Check
If a person obtains goods or services with the issuance of a check which does not have sufficient funds to be covered, it is presumed the act was intentional and may qualify as theft by check. This is also the case if a check is drawn on an account that is no longer open. A person may avoid the theft by check charge if he pays the holder of the check within 10 days of being notified of the delinquency. Theft by check does not apply to checks that are post-dated.
A misdemeanor is a type of criminal charge that is considered to be of a less serious nature. Theft by check in Texas is classified as a misdemeanor if the amount misappropriated is less than $1,500. A misdemeanor charge of theft by check has a statute of limitation of two years from the date of the commission of the offense. Therefore, charges may be brought up to two years after a bad check is written.
Likewise, a felony is Texas is considered to be a more serious crime. To be classified as a felony, the amount of the check must be over $1,500. Under the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, a felony charge of theft by check has a statue of limitations of five years from the date of the offense.
Purpose of Limitation
The purpose of the statute of limitation in criminal cases is to relieve a defendant of the burden of trying to defend a case when evidence and memories of the occurrence may no longer may attainable. For example, it may be more difficult for a person to attest to their whereabouts from several years prior. For this reason, prosecutors are required to bring their cases within a certain timeframe, except in certain cases. In Texas, these exceptions include murder, manslaughter, sexual assault, and certain crimes involving children.
After the Statute of Limitation
If the statute of limitation has passed, a defendant may argue that criminal charges may not be pursued. If the judge rules in the defendant's favor, the charges will be dismissed.
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.
Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations is a time frame determined by the state legislature. The statute of limitations determines the time frame a plaintiff has to file a civil lawsuit or the state has to prosecute a defendant in a criminal case.
Civil Statute of Limitations
The Indiana statute of limitations for a civil lawsuit to recover money for a check returned for insufficient funds is 10 years.
Criminal Statute of Limitations
Writing a check that is returned for non-sufficient funds by the financial institution in Indiana can be charged as check deception. Check deception is a Class A misdemeanor unless the amount of the check was more than $2,500 and the check was tendered to purchase a vehicle in which case it is a Class D felony. The statute of limitations for a misdemeanor in Indiana is two years and for a felony it is five years.
Bad checks, also known as hot checks, are those returned for insufficient funds. If you receive a bad check from someone in Arkansas after providing the check writer with goods or services, you can pursue criminal or civil action against this person. The amount of time to sue or prosecute the person depends on the amount of the specific check and other bad checks that were made around the same time.
Hot Check Laws
Arkansas law criminalizes the act of writing a check in exchange for goods or services when the person who wrote the check has been made aware that there are insufficient funds to cover it. A criminal defendant is presumed to know he has insufficient funds if he received notice from the bank of the insufficient funds to cover a check and failed to cover the check amount and related fees within 30 days of receiving this notice.
For misdemeanor hot checks, the statute of limitations is one year. This means that the prosecutor must file charges within one year of the check being denied for insufficient funds. If the prosecutor waits until after one year has passed, the court will dismiss the case as being outside the statute of limitations and the criminal defendant cannot be convicted of the crime. Felony bad checks have a statute of limitations of three years. Individuals who want to have the prosecutor pursue the action criminally can refer to their county's hot check program.
As an alternative, you can pursue a civil lawsuit against the person who wrote the bad check. He or she must still take action within the time frame set out above. In civil cases, a complaint must be filed before the statute of limitations expires.
Criminal and Civil Penalties
If a person is convicted of a hot check of less than $1,000 in value and it is his first offense, he is guilty of a misdemeanor with a maximum punishment of a fine of up to $500, jail time of up to 30 days, or both. For a second offense, the maximum fine increases to $1,000 and the maximum jail sentence increases to 90 days. A third or subsequent offense results in a a fine up to $2,000, maximum jail time of up to one year, or both.
Bad checks that are made for $25,000 or more in a single instrument, or in the aggregate within 90 days, can result in a conviction of a Class B felony, punishable by imprisonment of up to 20 years and a fine of up to $15,000. A Class C felony can result if one check is more than $5,000 or the aggregate amount of bad checks drawn within 90 days is more than $5,000, punishable by imprisonment up to 10 years and a fine up to $10,000. A Class D felony results when the bad check is more than $1,000 in value or the aggregate of multiple checks is more than $1,000 but less than $5,000 within a 90-day period.
Additionally, the court can require the defendant to pay court costs and order him to pay restitution. Restitution for hot check violations includes twice the value of the check, a collection fee of no more than $25, any fees that the recipient of the check was charged by his financial institution, and reasonable attorney's fees to collect the funds from the check.
Individuals can avoid liability of paying all of the forms of restitution mentioned above if they pay the amount of the bad check, the collection fee of $25 or less and any charges that the recipient of the check was charged by his bank within 15 days of receiving notice of the insufficient funds.