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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
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Experience:  Attorney with over 20 years law enforcement, prosecution, civil rights and defense experience
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Is a bounced post dated check a criminal or civil issue?

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If you bounce a post dated check in the state of NY is it criminally punishable under NY State law, or a civil issue? I've posted this issue twice and recieved 2 completely different responses. Only 1 can be correct and I need to underand which one that is.

Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you.

Under federal law, there is really no such thing legally as a "post dated check." A post dated check is simply an alleged agreement between the parties that the recipient of the check will hold off on cashing it. However, under NY Penal Code 190.00, " 1. "Check" means any check, draft or similar sight order for the payment of money which is not post-dated with respect to the time of utterance." Thus, if you prove the check was post dated, this would be a defense to any charge of issuing bad checks.

The NY courts have held, "a post-dated check, standing alone, is not a "check" for the purpose of the offense of issuing a bad check." See: People v. Shimoni, 553 N.Y.S.2d 175, 159 A.D.2d 659 (N.Y.A.D. 2 Dept., 1990).

Thus, the DA would need more to pursue a conviction of issuing bad checks than the post dated check.

If they cashed the check after the date on the check and found it was not valid, this would be the additional evidence they would need to pursue a bad check charge if you failed to make good on the check upon demand.

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