Post Dated Check Law in Arizona
Post-dating a check is when you write a future date on a check instead of the date you issue the check. Some people use this tactic to keep someone from cashing a check before the date written on it. In some cases, this is because the money isn’t due until that date.
An appropriate example of when to post-date a check is when you mail a utility payment before its due date. You put the date that the bill is due on the check instead of the date you fill out the check.
Another fair and reasonable use for this method is when the check’s recipient agrees to the post-date. This generally happens when the issuer informs the recipient that the money for the check won’t be available in their account until the future date.
This allows the check’s recipient to still provide the goods or services at that moment while awaiting the funds to become available.
So what happens then if the check bounces on that future date that both the issuer and recipient agreed upon. Is the issuer now guilty of a crime? We’ll analyze this scenario to help you understand why post-dating checks are often risky and unwise behavior under Arizona law.
Criminal law surrounding post-dated checks
The law around checks and fraud comes down to the person’s intent when writing a check. If you post-date the check solely to deprive the recipient of those funds, you could face criminal charges.
Knowingly writing a worthless check is a serious offense. But of course, there are many scenarios where checks bounce due to untimely circumstances. For example, you issue the check, the recipient waits several days or even weeks to cash the check and, in the meantime, you encounter a financial issue, such as a car breakdown. Now you issue funds to cover the car breakdown not even remembering the outstanding check.
The check that you issued days or weeks before with the best of intentions bounces through no malicious or illegal means.
Check laws come down to intent. So if you’re facing charges for fraud due to a bounced check, you should get a good Arizona criminal defense attorney who can show that the prosecution does not have ample evidence to prove your criminal intent.
Proving criminal intent in post-dated checks or check fraud cases
To win a guilty verdict in check fraud cases, the prosecution must prove that the defendant intended to defraud the check’s recipient. Generally speaking, it’s challenging for the prosecution to prove such intent.
Rarely, you might find a case where there’s a witness who the defendant told that they were writing worthless checks to get access to the goods and services they needed. These admissions of guilt to a third party can prove intent to defraud the recipient of that money.
Your attorney will work to prove that you can qualify for one of three defenses under A.R.S. 13-1807.
- The defendant informed the check’s recipient that the check’s funds were not immediately available in their bank account.
- The check is legally post-dated for a date when the funds will be available and both parties agreed upon that date when the money will be paid in full.
- The insufficient funds in the issuer’s bank account were due to a banking error or change from the credit institution without notice.
If you’re found guilty of issuing a bad check, you could face a fine of $2,500 plus an 84 percent surcharge on the check’s original value.
More often than not, check issues are misunderstandings that the two individuals involved can resolve without a court case. But if you do find yourself facing charges under Arizona’s law concerning issuing bad checks, be sure to retain a good attorney as soon as possible. The penalties could harm your financial wellbeing immensely.