Under the Michigan Penal Code that covers banking and check crimes, presenting a check that doesn’t have enough money in the back to cover the check is a crime. Local prosecutors take check and insufficient funds crimes very seriously and you very well could be facing a felony charge.

Check And Insufficient Funds (NSF) Crimes

When a person writes a check against a bank account that doesn’t have sufficient funds in it to cover the amount requested is considered fraud. It is also looked at as an attempt to cheat someone. Bounced or bad checks could cause a person to be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony depending on how much the check was written for and what kind of prior criminal record a person has. If you are facing incarceration of over 1 year, it is considered a felony charge.

MCL 750.131 provides: A person shall not make, draw, utter, or deliver any check, draft, or order for the payment of money, to apply on account or otherwise, upon any bank or other depositories with intent to defraud if the person does not have sufficient funds for the payment of the check, draft, or order when presentation for payment is made to the drawee. This subsection does not apply if the lack of funds is due to garnishment, attachment, levy, or other lawful cause and that fact was not known to the person when the person made, drew, uttered, or delivered the check, draft, or order. A person who violates this section is guilty of a crime as follows:

Amount of Check Maximum Penalty
NSF check less than $100 93 days and/or $500 fine
NSF check $100 but less than $500 1 year and/or $1,000 fine
NSF check $500 or more 2 years and/or $2,000 fine
3 or more NSF checks within 10 days 2 years and/or $500 fine
No account check in any amount 2 years and/or $500 fine


Defenses Against Check Crimes: Making An Honest Mistake is a DefenseWhen you are charged with a felony or misdemeanor check crime, if you can show you made a mistake, the charges should be dropped by the prosecutor. If the prosecutor won’t drop the charges, we can take your case to trial and use this defense to get a not guilty verdict.  A lot of people who get in trouble for this type of crime have a financial crisis or lost their job. The statute of limitation for a felony check crime is ten years! The statute of limitation for a misdemeanor check crime is six years!  If the debtor pays for the bounced check, that is not a defense that will get the charges dropped or a not guilty verdict.

If you are facing Check and Insufficient Funds charges, call Shawn now at 616-438-6719! The call is free. Will you be?

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