Issue of worthless check is a crime in Wisconsin.  Contact Meyer Van Severen at (414) 270-0202 to discuss your case today.

Issue of worthless checks is prohibited by section 943.24 of the Wisconsin Statutes.  This crime is often committed by individuals in a tough financial position.  Sometimes issuing a worthless check can mean the difference between groceries and no groceries.  Our property crime defense lawyers Matthew R. Meyer and Benjamin T. Van Severen have worked in issuing worthless check cases before.  Contact our criminal defense firm, Meyer Van Severen, S.C. at (414) 270-0202 to discuss your property crime case today.


What is “issue of worthless checks?

The law states that “Whoever issues any check or other payment of not more than $2,500 which, at the time of issuance, he or she intends shall not be paid is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.”  Wis. Stat. sec. 943.24.  If the defendant issues one, or numerous checks, totaling over $2,500.00, the misdemeanor offense becomes a Class I felony.

The jury instructions simply require:

  1. The defendant issued a check.
  2. At the time the check was issued, the defendant intended that it not be paid.

The jury instructions change for the felony offense.  In that case, a third element is added.  The prosecution must also show that the check/checks was for $2,500.00 or more.


How does the prosecutor know I didn’t intend to pay the check?

Criminal law states a few different ways a prima facie showing can be made that the defendant intended the check not be paid.  Those include:

  • The person did not have an account with the bank connected to the check.
  • The defendant didn’t have sufficient funds or credit with the bank, and the defendant didn’t provide notice to the payee within 5 days.

This criminal prohibition does not apply to a postdated check or to a check given for past consideration, except a payroll check.  Past consideration is something that was already received in the past.  For example, assume I’ve completed a repair on your home.  I didn’t collect the fee for that repair right when the work was completed.  Instead, 30 days later I ask for payment.  If you provide me a worthless check, this crime has not occurred.  Issue of a worthless check focuses on immediate transactions.


Issue of worthless check can be a felony

Contact property crime defense lawyers Matt Meyer and Ben Van Severen.  At Wisconsin criminal defense firm Meyer Van Severen, S.C. we defend issue or worthless check cases.  Contact us at (414) 270-0202 to begin planning your defense.