Texas Penal Code 32.41 – Issuance of Bad Check or Similar Sight Order
WHAT IS ISSUANCE OF A BAD CHECK OR SIMILAR SIGHT ORDER IN TEXAS?
A person who writes a check knowing there are insufficient funds in the account, or on a closed or non-existent account, may be charged with issuance of a bad check or similar sight order.
WHAT IS THE ISSUANCE OF BAD CHECK OR SIMILAR SIGHT ORDER LAW IN TEXAS?
Tex. Penal Code § 32.41. ISSUANCE OF BAD CHECK OR SIMILAR SIGHT ORDER.
(a) A person commits an offense if he issues or passes a check or similar sight order for the payment of money knowing that the issuer does not have sufficient funds in or on deposit with the bank or other drawee for the payment in full of the check or order as well as all other checks or orders outstanding at the time of issuance.
(b) This section does not prevent the prosecution from establishing the required knowledge by direct evidence; however, for purposes of this section, the issuer’s knowledge of insufficient funds is presumed (except in the case of a postdated check or order) if:
(1) he had no account with the bank or other drawee at the time he issued the check or order; or
(2) payment was refused by the bank or other drawee for lack of funds or insufficient funds on presentation within 30 days after issue and the issuer failed to pay the holder in full within 10 days after receiving notice of that refusal.
. . .
(d) If notice is given, it is presumed that the notice was received no later than five days after it was sent.
(e) A person charged with an offense under this section may make restitution for the bad checks or sight orders. Restitution shall be made through the prosecutor’s office if collection and processing were initiated through that office. In other cases restitution may be, with the approval of the court in which the offense is filed:
(1) made through the court; or
(2) collected by a law enforcement agency if a peace officer of that agency executes a warrant against the person charged with the offense.
(f) Except as otherwise provided by this subsection, an offense under this section is a Class C misdemeanor. If the check or similar sight order that was issued or passed was for a child support payment the obligation for which is established under a court order, the offense is a Class B misdemeanor.
(g) An offense under this section is not a lesser included offense of an offense under Section 31.03 or 31.04.
WHAT IS THE PENALTY CLASS FOR ISSUANCE OF BAD CHECK OR SIMILAR SIGHT ORDER IN TEXAS?
Issuance of a bad check or similar sight order is a Class C misdemeanor, punishable by a maximum fine of $500. However, if the check or sight order was issued or passed for a court-ordered child support payment, it is a Class B misdemeanor, punishable by up to 180 days in county jail.
WHAT IS THE PUNISHMENT RANGE FOR ISSUANCE OF BAD CHECK OR SIMILAR SIGHT ORDER IN TEXAS?
Issuance of a bad check charged as a Class C misdemeanor only exposes a person to a fine of up to $500. If a person is charged with a Class B misdemeanor for writing a bad check as a child support payment, it carries up to 180 days in jail, and a maximum fine of $2,000.
WHAT ARE THE PENALTIES FOR ISSUANCE OF BAD CHECK OR SIMILAR SIGHT ORDER IN TEXAS?
A person charged with Class B misdemeanor issuance of a bad check or similar sight order may be eligible for probation after a conviction, or deferred adjudication without a conviction, for up to two years. If charged with a Class C misdemeanor issuance of a bad check or similar sight order, the person may be placed on deferred adjudication for a term not to exceed 180 days.
WHAT ARE THE DEFENSES TO ISSUANCE OF BAD CHECK OR SIMILAR SIGHT ORDER IN TEXAS?
The statute does not authorize specific defenses to issuance of a bad check or similar sight order. A person accused thereof may assert any defense in an attempt to negate at least one of the elements the State must prove at trial.
For example, an accused may argue he or she lacked the requisite knowledge of the insufficient funds. However, the law presumes such knowledge if the account drawn on was closed at the time of issuance, or if the person refuses to pay the amount after receiving notice of the insufficient funds.
WHAT IS THE STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS FOR ISSUANCE OF BAD CHECK OR SIMILAR SIGHT ORDER IN TEXAS?
The limitation period for issuance of a bad check or similar sight order is two years.
ISSUANCE OF BAD CHECK OR SIMILAR SIGHT ORDER IN TEXAS
Texas law prohibits issuing a bad check or similar sight order. The law presumes one’s knowledge of insufficient funds if there was no existing account at the time of the check’s issuance, or if the check bounced within 30 days of issuance, and the person did not pay the amount within 10 days of being notified of the bad check.
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DRIVING WHILE INTOXICATED .15
Driving facts involved failing to maintain a single lane and speeding. Client refused breath test and forced law enforcement to obtain search warrant for blood. Blood test result was not used after challenge from Defense, and State waived and abandoned charge.
DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE
Client was a college student, worried about the collateral consequences of an alcohol offense. After negotiation and review of the traffic stop, the case was dismissed. Client received no criminal conviction. The charge was later expunged and deleted from client’s record.
DRIVING WHILE INTOXICATED .15+
Client was involved in minor accident. Client was at fault in accident. A young executive, client was concerned that a criminal conviction for DWI would result in termination. After review of the traffic stop, it was clear the officer lacked probable cause for arrest. State eventually dismissed DWI charge. Client received no criminal conviction.
Client, a military veteran, was facing up to one year in jail. State could not prove intoxication by alcohol, and was prepared to proceed on loss of use by marijuana. After challenging the State to prove that marijuana was ingested at or near time of driving, and that marijuana impaired client’s driving, the State dismissed the case on the day of trial.
DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE
Driving facts involved a false claim by police that taillight was out. After challenging the reasonable suspicion for the traffic stop, the State was forced to dismiss the case when video did not match police report. Client has since expunged arrest, and has no criminal record.
DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE
Client is a public school teacher and faced immediate termination upon conviction. The facts of the case were bad. State was unwilling to budge in negotiation, and matter was set for trial – the last shot at avoiding a conviction and preserving client’s livelihood. State was forced to dismiss on day of trial. Client has no criminal record, and has since expunged the DWI arrest.
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