In Washington State a misdemeanor Unlawful issuance of checks or drafts offense can have a maximum sentence of 364 days in jail and a $5,000 fine for offenses less than $750. If you are convicted of a misdemeanor you could be facing jail time and trouble securing employment in the future.
Often times Unlawful issuance of checks or drafts or check fraud charges are prosecuted in city courts with differing procedures and penalties. Although a misdemeanor charge may sounds relatively harmless, but it can have a long-lasting impact on your ability to obtain housing, find employment and attend institutions of higher education. Additionally, theft crimes like check fraud create significant barriers to employment for many people.
For many people charged with Unlawful issuance of checks or drafts or check fraud this is the first time they have been on the wrong side of the law. Additionally, many are juveniles and have a bright future ahead of them.
Below I have listed the Washington State Law for Unlawful issuance of checks or drafts or Check Fraud:
Unlawful Issuance of checks or drafts
(1) Any person who shall with intent to defraud, make, or draw, or utter, or deliver to another person any check, or draft, on a bank or other depository for the payment of money, knowing at the time of such drawing, or delivery, that he or she has not sufficient funds in, or credit with the bank or other depository, to meet the check or draft, in full upon its presentation, is guilty of unlawful issuance of bank check. The word "credit" as used herein shall be construed to mean an arrangement or understanding with the bank or other depository for the payment of such check or draft, and the uttering or delivery of such a check or draft to another person without such fund or credit to meet the same shall be prima facie evidence of an intent to defraud.
(2) Any person who shall with intent to defraud, make, or draw, or utter, or deliver to another person any check, or draft on a bank or other depository for the payment of money and who issues a stop-payment order directing the bank or depository on which the check is drawn not to honor the check, and who fails to make payment of money in the amount of the check or draft or otherwise arrange a settlement agreed upon by the holder of the check within twenty days of issuing the check or draft is guilty of unlawful issuance of a bank check.
(3) When any series of transactions which constitute unlawful issuance of a bank check would, when considered separately, constitute unlawful issuance of a bank check in an amount of seven hundred fifty dollars or less because of value, and the series of transactions are a part of a common scheme or plan, the transactions may be aggregated in one count and the sum of the value of all of the transactions shall be the value considered in determining whether the unlawful issuance of a bank check is to be punished as a class C felony or a gross misdemeanor.
(4) Unlawful issuance of a bank check in an amount greater than seven hundred fifty dollars is a class C felony.
(5) Unlawful issuance of a bank check in an amount of seven hundred fifty dollars or less is a gross misdemeanor and shall be punished as follows:
(a) The court shall order the defendant to make full restitution;
(b) The defendant need not be imprisoned, but the court shall impose a fine of up to one thousand one hundred twenty-five dollars. Of the fine imposed, at least three hundred seventy-five dollars or an amount equal to one hundred fifty percent of the amount of the bank check, whichever is greater, shall not be suspended or deferred. Upon conviction for a second offense within any twelve-month period, the court may not suspend or defer any portion of the fine.