State Bad Check Laws – All 50 States

The chart below provides information for all 50 States regarding the Bad Check Laws by State, Civil and Criminal Penalties, state bad check laws - map of usaService Fees, and Wage garnishment laws. This information is useful if you are using our sample collection letters to attempt to collect on a bad check on your own. If you are looking for Debt Collection Laws by State click link.

StateFelonyMisdemeanorService FeesCivil PenaltiesCriminal PenaltiesWage Garnishment
Alabaman/aAll AmountsGreater of $30 or actual bank chargeGreater of $10 or actual bank chargesCheck of $500 or more, fine of not less than $500 nor more than $5000 or imprisonment up to 3 years, or both; under $500 check, fine depends on amount and offense. Court shall also order restitution to plaintiff; defendant shall pay court costs if convicted.Up to 20% of weekly net disposable income
Alaska>$500<$500$25$100 or triple amount of check, whichever is greater, maximum $1,000Issuing check for $25,000 or more, maximum fine of $50,000, imprisonment up to 10 years, or both, Issuing check for $500 or more, up to $25,000, maximum fine of $50,000, imprisonment up to 5 years, or both. Issuing check for $50 or more, up to $500, maximum of $5000, imprisonment up to one year, or both. Issuing check under $50, maximum fine of $1000, imprisonment up to 90 days, or both.$402-$602 of weekly income is exempt from garnishment, then it gets more complicated
Arizonan/aAll amounts$25 or actual bank chargeTwice the amount of check, costs of suit, reasonable attorney's feesUp to six months in jail or up to $300 or both if under $25; up to five years in state prison or up to one year in county jail or up to $500 fine or both if between $25 and $100; up to five years in state prison if over $100 or if no account.Up to 25% of weekly net disposable income
Arkansas>$200<$200$25Twice the amount of check prior to double charge, $25 charge per NSF check after 30 daysChecks of $200 or less for 1st conviction fine of not less than $50 nor more than $500 or imprisonment up to 30 days or both; 2nd offense fine of not less than $100 nor more than $1000 or imprisonment up to 90 days or both; 3rd and subsequent offenses fine of not less than $200 nor more than $2000 or imprisonment up to one year or both. When more than one check is involved and such checks were drawn within 90 days of each other and each is an amount less than $200, the amount of such separate checks may be added together to arrive at and be punishable under the $200 or more amount to which this category refers. Checks for $500 involve a fine not exceeding $10,000 or imprisonment up to 10 years or both.Federal garnishment rules apply
CaliforniaAll amountsAt discretion of court$25 for first check, $35 for each subsequent oneAmount due, treble damages, minimum $100, maximum $1,500 per checkWhere amount is less than $200 and is first offense, up to one year in county jail.Up to 25% of weekly net disposable income
Colorado>$400<$400$30, or 20% of check amountTreble damages and reasonable attorneys feesMisdemeanor - imprisonment in county jail for not less than three months nor more than 12 months or by fine of not less than $250 nor more than $1,000 or both. Felony - imprisonment in state penitentiary for not less than one year nor more than 5 years or by fine of not less than $1,000 nor more than $15,000 or both. If twice previously convicted, punishment is imprisonment in state penitentiary for not less than one year and not more than 10 years or fine of not less than $2,000 nor more than $30,000 or both.Up to 75% of disposable income
Connecticut>$1,000<$1,000$30Personal liability of signatory on corporate claims unless signed in corporate capacity. Liability of drawer, if no account, damages equal to lesser of $750 or face amount of check. For insufficient funds, lesser of $400 or face amount of check.Up to $1,000 fine or one year in jail or both.Up to 25% of weekly disposable income
Delaware>$1,000<$1,000$25$100 or three times the amount of check not to exceed $500Misdemeanor - up to 2 years in jail, $1,000 fine, or both. Person who issued check must make restitution to person to whom check was issued. Felony - up to seven years and such fine as court may order.Up to 15% of net income
Florida>$50<$50$25 or 5% of check face value, whichever is greaterInitially face value of check plus $25 to $40, depending on amount of check, or 5% of value, whichever is greater. If suit required, after 30 day demand, treble amount in addition to amount owed, bank and court costs and reasonable attorneys fees.Felony - up to 5 years in prison or $1,000 fine. Misdemeanor - up to $300 or six months in jail.Complicated. There is a "head of family" exemption. Refer to statute on procedure and exemptions.
Georgia>$500<$500$25 or 5% of check face value, whichever is greaterAfter 10 day written demand double damages up to $500 and service charge of $25 or 5%, whichever is greater.Check for less than $100, fine of not more than $500 or imprisonment not to exceed 12 months or both. check for $100 or more but less than $300, fine of not more than $1,000 or imprisonment not to exceed 12 months or both. Upon conviction defendant required to make restitution of the amount of the check together with all costs, which are presumed to be $20. When more than one check is involved and such checks were drawn within 90 days of one another and each is in an amount less than $100, the amounts of such separate checks may be added together to arrive at and be punishable as above. Check for $500 or more; a fine of not less than $500 nor more than $5,000 or by imprisonment for up to three years, or both.Up to 25% of weekly disposable income
Hawaiin/aAll amounts$30$100 or triple amount of check, whichever is greater, maximum $500Up to one year in jail or $1,000 fine or both.Up to 20% of weekly net disposable income
Idahon/aAll amounts$20$100 or triple amount of check, whichever is greater, maximum $500Fine or imprisonment or both as follows: If under $50, 1st offense - $300 and six months; 2nd offense - $1000 and one year; 3rd offense, or if amount in excess of $50 - $5,000 and three years.Up to 25% of weekly disposable income
Illinois>$150 if subsequent offenseAll amounts$25 or all costs including attorneys fees$100 or triple amount of check, whichever is greater, maximum $1,500, plus attorney's fees and court costsUp to $500 fine or up to one year in jail, or both.Up to 15% of weekly disposable income
Indiana>2,500 if property acquired was a motor vehicleAll other amounts$20 or 5% whichever is greater not to exceed $250Triple check amount up to $500 over check amount, plus attorney fees and interest up to 18% per annum or triple check amount plus attorneys fees and interest at judgment rate and costs and travel expenses.Up to $5,000 fine or up to one year in jail, or both.Up to 25% of weekly disposable income
Iowa>$20<$20$20 or 5% whichever is greaterTriple the face amount of check, not to exceed $500, plus reasonable attorneys fees.Up to $100 fine or 30 days in jail for misdemeanor. Up to seven years in penitentiary, or one year in jail or up to $500 fine, or both, for felony.Up to 25% of weekly disposable income
Kansas>$500<$500$30Triple the face amount of check, not to exceed the check amount by $500 or $100 whichever is greater, plus attorneys fees and court costs plus amount of check.Up to $2,500 fine or up to one year in jail or both. Up to $5,000 fine or one to five years in jail or both.Up to 25% of weekly disposable income
Kentucky>$300<$300$25NoneUp to $500 fine. One year in penitentiary for a misdemeanor. Felony punishable by imprisonment from one to five years and a fine of not more than $10,000, or double the offender's gain from commission of the crime, whichever is greater.Up to 25% of weekly disposable income
Louisiana>$100<$100$25 or 5% of check face value, whichever is greaterMinimum of $100, or twice the amount of the check plus attorney's fees and court costsCheck for under $100, imprisonment for not more than 6 months or fine of not more than $500 or both. A third or more such conviction, fine of not more than $1,000 or imprisonment for not more than 2 years or both. Check for $100 or more and less than $500, imprisonment for not more than 2 years or fine of not more than $2,000 or both. Check for $500 or more, imprisonment for not more than 10 years or fine of not more than $3,000 or both. In addition, the court may order as part of the sentence restitution of the amount of the bad check plus reasonable attorneys fees.75% disposable earnings per work week is exempt, but not less than 30 times federal minimum hourly wage.
MaineAll amountsn/a$25Amount of check, plus court costs, service costs, collection costs and processing chargesUp to $1,000 fine or 11 months in jail, or both.Up to 25% of weekly disposable income
Maryland>$500<$500$35After 30 day written notice, amount due, $25 fee, twice check amount up to $1,000. Applies to COD sales only.Misdemeanor - maximum fine $100 or imprisonment up to 60 days or both. Felony - maximum fine of $1,000, imprisonment up to 15 years, or both.Up to 25% of weekly disposable income
Massachusetts>$100<$100$25Amount due, costs of suit, protest fees, minimum of $100, but not more than $500, as determined by the court.Up to $300 fine or one year in jail. Up to $600 fine and up to 2 years in jail or up to 5 years in penitentiary.Exemption - wages equal to the greater of 85% of debtors gross wages or 50 times more than Federal or MA (whichever is higher) hourly minimum wage per week. Bank Account: $2,500, Vehicle: $7,500.
Michigan>$50<$50$25Face amount of check plus twice the amount of check or $100 per check, whichever is greater, plus court costs of up to $250.Up to $250 fine or six months in jail. Up to $500 fine or one year in jail.Federal garnishment rules apply
Minnesotan/aAll amounts$20 or actual costs not to exceed $30Up to $100 or 100% of value of check, whichever is greater. Interest at the rate payable on judgments and reasonable attorney's fees if aggregate amount of checks within 6 month period is over $1,250.n/aUp to 25% of weekly disposable income
Mississippi>$100<$100$30Varies by face amount of check: up to $25-100% of check amount, from $25 to $200-50% of amount of check, and over $200-25% of amount of checkChecks under $100 - a fine of not less than $25 nor more than $500 or imprisonment in the county jail for not less than five days nor more than six months or both. Upon conviction of second offense for check less than $100 a fine of not less than $50 nor more than $1,000 or imprisonment of not less than 30 days nor more than one year. For the third offense a felony regardless of amount involved, imprisonment in the state penitentiary for a term of not less than one year nor more than five years. For a check of more than $100, deemed a felony, punishment of fine of not less than $100 nor more than $1,000 or by imprisonment for a term of not more than three years or both.Up to 25% of weekly disposable income
Missouri>$150<$150$20Triple the face amount of check up to $500.Up to $500 fine or six months in jail or both. Up to $1,000 fine or one year in jail or both. In addition prosecutor can collect fee of $5 for checks less than $10, $10 for checks - $10 - $100 and $25 for check of $100 or more.Up to 25% of weekly disposable income
Montana>$300<$300$30An amount equal to the service charge plus the greater of $100 or three times the amount of the check, not to exceed the amount of the check by more than $500Check amount under $500.00=Up to $500 fine or six months in jail, or both. Check amount over $500.00=Up to $50,000 fine or 10 years in penitentiary or both.Federal garnishment rules apply
Nebraska>$500<$500$30Amount due, costs, and protest fees.Obtaining property worth: More than $1,000 - Class III felony. More than $300 but less than $1,000 - class IV felony. Less than $75 - class II misdemeanor; 2nd offense - class IV felony. Issuing or passing a check of any amount - class II misdemeanor.Up to 25% of weekly disposable income
Nevada>$100<$100$25Three times the amount of the check, but not less than $100 nor more than $500Up to six months in county jail or $500 fine, or both. State prison of one to 10 years or $10,000 fine or both.Up to 25% of weekly disposable income
New Hampshire>$500<$500$30Amount due, interest, court costs, service costs, and collection costs. If judgment obtained and not paid, $10 per business day up to $500, plus reasonable attorney's fees.Up to $200 fine or up to one year in jail, or both.Up to 25% of disposable income, writ must be renewed bi-weekly
New Jersey>$200<$200$20Face amount of check plus 3 times face value of check, with civil penalty not to exceed $500.Up to $1,000 fine or up to one year in jail or both.Up to 25% of weekly disposable income
New Mexico>$25<$25$20$100 or triple the amount of check up to a limit of $500Up to $1000 fine or 30 days in jail, or both. One to 3 years in jail, or up to $1,000, or both.Up to 25% of weekly disposable income
New Yorkn/aAll amounts$20 or a lesser amount contracted forIf reason for bad check is no existing bank account damages can be twice the amount of check or $750, whichever is less. If reason is NSF, damages can be twice amount of check or $400, whichever is less. Notice must be posted at point of sale.Up to three months in jail, or up to $500, or up to double the amount of the drawer's gain from the commission of the offense.Up to 10% of gross income
North Carolina>$2,000<$2,000$20Triple amount of check, with a minimum of $100 and maximum of $500$50 - $500 or up to six months in jail. If check is less than $50 - $50 fine or up to 30 days in jail. Over three convictions, up to one year. If check drawn on non-existent account, fine not to exceed $1,000 or imprisonment for not more than 2 years or both. If check drawn on account closed by drawer prior to time check drawn, fine not to exceed $400 or imprisonment for not more than 5 months or both.Up to 25% of weekly disposable income
North DakotaMay be felony if repeat offenseAll amounts$20Lesser of $100 or three times amount of check$25 - $250 fine, or up to 3 months in county jail, or both. If no account - fine up to $500 and one year in jail.Up to 25% of weekly disposable income
Ohio>$150<$150$30 or 10%, whichever is greater$200 or three times amount of check, whichever is greater, and attorney fees, no maximum.Misdemeanor: Up to 6 months in jail, $1,000 fine, or both. Felony: Up to 5 years, $2,500 fine, or both.Up to 25% of weekly disposable income
Oklahoma>$50<$50$30n/aUp to one year imprisonment or up to $1,000 fine or both. One to 10 years imprisonment or up to $5,000 fine.Up to 25% of weekly disposable income
Oregon>$75<$75$25$100 or triple amount of check not to exceed $500, plus reasonable attorney's feesMisdemeanor: Up to $1,000 fine or up to one year in jail, or both. Felony: Imprisonment for not more than 5 years.Up to 25% of weekly disposable income
Pennsylvania>$75,000<$75,000$25, provided that prior written notice is given at time check issued$100 or triple amount of check not to exceed $500, after obtaining criminal conviction and civil judgment.Up to $1,000 fine or up to 2 years in penitentiary, or both.No wage garnishment on civil judgments; child support and taxes only, see statute.
Rhode Island>$100<$100$25Amount of check, $25 fee and treble damages up to $1,000.Up to $500 fine, or up to one year imprisonment, or both. Up to $2,000 fine, or up to 2 years imprisonment, or both.Up to 25% of weekly disposable income
South Carolinan/aAll amounts$25Triple amount of check or $500, whichever is lessUp to $2,000 fine or up to 10 years in jail, or both. In magistrate's court - first conviction, not less than $50, nor more than $250 or imprisonment of 30 days; second or subsequent conviction, fine of $200 or imprisonment for 30 days. Conviction in court of General Sessions, first conviction fine not less than $300 nor more than $2,000 or by imprisonment for not more than 2 years or both; for second or more conviction, fine of not less than $500 or more than $2,000 or imprisonment for not less than 30 days or not more than 10 years.Up to 25% of weekly disposable income
South Dakota>$500<$500$30All reasonable costs and expenses of collectionFirst offense: a fine of not more than $100 or imprisonment for not more than 30 days or both. Second offense: a fine of not more than $300 nor less than $100 and imprisonment of not more than 6 months or less than 30 days. Third and subsequent offenses: a fine of not more than $500 nor less than $300 and imprisonment for not more than one year nor less than 6 months. Felony: Up to 3 years and not more than $1,000 fine.Up to 20% of weekly disposable income; medical insurance exempt
Tennessee>$100<$100$20Triple amount of check, not to exceed $500. Interest at 10% per annum, service charges, court costs and reasonable attorney's feesNot over $100 - not over 11 months 29 days in jail, not over $500 fine, or both. Over $100 - from three to 10 years in jail.At judge's discretion
Texasn/aAll amounts$25NoneUp to 2 years in county jail or up to $1,000 or both. 30 days to 2 years in jail and up to $1,000. Two to 10 years. Holder of bad check may charge obligor with any additional processing fees.No wage garnishment on civil judgments; child support and taxes only
Utah>$300<$300$20Interest and all costs of collection, all court costs, reasonable attorney's fees equal to the greater of $100 or three times the check amount, not to exceed the check amount plus $500.Less than $200 - up to 6 months or $299 or both; more than $200 but less than $300 - up to one year or $1,000 or both. More than $300 but less than $1,000 - up to five years or $5,000 or both; more than $1,000 - up to 15 years or $1,000 or both.Up to 25% of weekly disposable income
Vermontn/aAll amounts$25Court costs, service costs, bank fees, interest, attorney's fees and damages in the amount of $50Up to one year in jail and $1000 fine or both.Up to 25% of weekly disposable income
Virginia>$200<$200$25Three times amount of check, up to a maximum of $250, in addition to the amount of check, legal interest from the date of check, service fee and processing fee.$200 or less fine or 10 days to 12 months in jail, or both. One to five years in the penitentiary or fine and jail, or one to ten years penitentiary in discretion of court.Federal garnishment rules apply
Washingtonn/aAll amounts$30Reasonable attorney's fees and three times the amount of the check or $300, whichever is lessMisdemeanor - full restitution; the defendant need not be imprisoned, but the court shall impose a minimum fine of $500. Of the fine imposed, at least $50 shall not be suspended or deferred. Upon conviction for a second offense within any twelve-month period, the court may suspend or defer only that portion of the fine which is in excess of $500. Felony - Up to one year in jail or up to $1,000 fine, or both.Up to 25% of weekly disposable income
West Virginia>$500<$500$10$500 or the amount of check whichever is less, plus reasonable costs.Maximum fine of $100, up to 10 days in jail, or both. For obtaining property under $200 - maximum fine of $200, imprisonment up to six months, or both. For obtaining property over $200 - maximum fine of $500, imprisonment from one to five years, or both.See statute
Wisconsin>$1,000<$1,000$30Three times amount of check, all actual costs of legal action, including attorney's fees. Total amount of foregoing damages cannot exceed $500Up to $1,000 fine or one year in jail.Up to 25% of weekly disposable income
Wyoming>$500<$500$30Thrice the amount of check, but in no case less than $100Misdemeanor - Fine of not more than $750 or imprisonment for not more than six months, or both. Felony - Fine of not more than $10,000 or imprisonment for a maximum of 10 years, or both.Up to 25% of weekly disposable income
District of Columbia>$100<$100$25Amount due - Protest feesUp to three years imprisonment and $3,000 fine or both.Up to 25% of weekly disposable income

Disclaimer: The State Bad Check Laws Information provided above is for quick reference only, may not be 100% accurate or up to date with state laws for bad checks or collecting debts, and is not intended to replace competent and thorough legal advice for collecting debts on any particular situation. We make no express or implied warranty concerning any data contained on this page, and we assume no liability for its use.