Many people struggle with managing their finances. Some may find themselves coming close to overdrawing their banking accounts, while others may spend more than they have.

When people write bad checks, however, they may face charges for theft.

What is a bad check?

The term bad check refers to checks written from accounts that do not exist or those that lack sufficient funds to cover the amount promised. In cases when people unintentionally write bad checks, their banks may charge them a fee. When people knowingly write a check for which they do not have enough money, it may constitute theft.

How is writing a bad check charged?

According to Texas state law, the authorities may charge bad check writing as a Class C misdemeanor, Class B misdemeanor, Class A misdemeanor or as a felony-level offense. The level of offense people may face due to writing bad checks depends on factors, such as the amount of the check. For example, people may face Class C misdemeanor theft charges for writing a bad check for less than $100, a Class B misdemeanor for checks valued between $100 and $750, a Class A misdemeanor for checks valued between $750 and $2,500, and a felony for checks in excess of $2,500.

What is the penalty for writing a bad check?

According to the Texas Office of the Attorney General, the potential penalties people may face if convicted of writing bad checks depends on the level of offense. Those convicted of a Class C misdemeanor theft charge may have to pay a maximum fine of $500. The punishment for a Class B misdemeanor includes a sentence of up to 180 days in jail, a fine of up to $2,000 or both. If convicted of Class A misdemeanor theft for writing a bad check, people may face up to one year in jail, a fine of no more than $4,000 or both.