638:4 Issuing Bad Checks

Last revised 1971 § Leave a Comment

I. A person is guilty of issuing a bad check if he issues or passes a check for the payment of money and payment is refused by the drawee, except in cases where a legal stop payment order has been issued or where the drawee refuses payment for any other reason through no fault of the person who issued or passed the check.

I-a. A person who issues or passes a bad check is subject to prosecution in the jurisdiction in which he issued or passed the check.

II. For the purposes of this section, as well as in any prosecution for theft committed by means of a bad check, a person who issues a check for which payment is refused by the drawee is presumed to know that such check would not be paid if he had no account with the drawee at the time of issue.

III. It is an affirmative defense that the actor paid the amount of the check, together with all costs and protest fees, to the person to whom it was due, within 14 days after having received notice that payment was refused. The actor’s failure to make such payment within 14 days after receiving notice that payment was refused shall be prima facie evidence of a violation of paragraph I of this section.

IV. (a) Issuing a bad check is:

  • (1) A class A felony if the face amount of the check exceeds $1,000;
  • (2) A class B felony if the face amount of the check exceeds $500 but is not more than $1,000;
  • (3) A class A misdemeanor if the face amount of the check does not exceed $500 and the actor has been convicted of an offense under this section within the previous 12 months;
  • (4) A class B misdemeanor in all other cases.
  • (b) In any prosecution under subparagraph IV(a), the prosecutor shall prove that the person issued or passed the check knowing or believing that the check would not be paid by the drawee.
  • (c) Face amounts involved in the issuance of bad checks committed pursuant to one scheme or course of conduct may be aggregated in determining the grade of the offense.
  • V. In addition to any other sentence which it imposes, the court shall, if restitution is authorized under RSA 651:63, order any person convicted of a violation of this section to make restitution to the person to whom the check was due. Such restitution shall include the amount of the check and may include all reasonable costs and protest fees.

    VI. (a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, in any judicial proceeding under this section, a notarized or sworn statement by the bank official who is the keeper of records of the bank upon which the check was drawn shall be admissible as evidence at trial to prove the status or account balance of the person’s account on the date the check was issued or passed. The admission of this statement shall eliminate the need for the keeper of records to personally appear and testify before the court.

  • (b) Nothing in this paragraph shall prevent the person who issued the check for which payment was refused from securing the appearance of the keeper of the records before the court by subpoena or other legal process.
  • Revisions

    1971, 518:1. 1979, 265:1. 1983, 378:1, 2. 1985, 163:1. 1989, 269:1-4. 1990, 153:1. 1993, 215:1, 2, eff. Jan. 1, 1994.

    Area of Law



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