By: Francisco Diaz, The Laredo Sun
LAREDO, TX. - According to the criminal code, if a person writes a check without funds of just $19.99 can lead to a fine of $500 because it is a misdemeanor.
When the amount defrauded is $20 to 499.99, the person faces a fine of two thousand dollars and imprisonment of up to 180 days.
For a check between 500 and 499.99 billion dollars, the person can be locked up for a year and be fined $4,000.
For a check with insufficient funds from 500 to 19,000 thousand U.S. dollars 999.99, the drawer can receive from 180 days to two years imprisonment and a fine up to $ 10 000 if prosecuted in a court of law because the crime becomes a a felony fourth.
When a person signs a check for 20 thousand to 99 thousand U.S. dollars, the penalty is 2 to 10 years imprisonment and the fine is $10,000.
If theft by check is 100 thousand to 199 thousand dollars, then the person faces a fine of $10,000 and will be convicted 2 to 20 years in prison because the crime is considered second degree felony.
When it comes to bad checks over $200 000, the charge is more serious in the Texas prison system and the person can receive sentence of 5 to 99 years in prison and a fine of $10,000.
The District Attorney's Office in Webb and Zapata has a division specializing in such cases to not only capture and prosecute those who turn in bad checks, but to try to recover the money.