|A person commits the offense of issuing a bad or a worthless check when he or she writes, issues, or passes a check or similar document for the payment of money when he or she knows that he or she does not have sufficient funds in a banking institution to pay the check.
The essential element of the offense of the issuance of a bad or a worthless check is the writing or the issuance of the check. The receipt of money or property in return for the check is not an element.
A defendant's knowledge of insufficient funds in a banking institution is presumed when the defendant had no account with the banking institution at the time the defendant wrote or issued the check or when the check was refused by the banking institution for insufficient funds and the defendant failed to pay the check within a certain number of days after a notice of insufficient funds.
A bank generally notifies a defendant of insufficient funds by actual notice or by notice in writing. The notice may be sent to the address on the check, to the defendant's address in the bank's records, or to the address of the person to whom the check was issued. The notice should be in a form that is set forth by state statute.
In addition to proving a defendant's knowledge of insufficient funds, the prosecution must prove that the defendant did not have sufficient funds on deposit with the banking institution.
The offense of issuing a bad or a worthless check is normally punished as a misdemeanor. A defendant who is found guilty of the offense is normally ordered to pay restitution to the banking institution if the banking institution honored or paid the check or to the person to whom the check was issued if the banking institution did not honor or pay the check.
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