ISSUE OF WORTHLESS CHECKS: FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q. What is a worthless check?
A. Whoever issues any check or other order for the 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. Wisconsin State Statute 943.24(1)
Whoever issues any single check or other order for the payment of more than $2,500 or whoever within a 90-day period issues more than one check or other order amounting in the aggregate to more than $2,500, which, at the time of issuance, the person intends not to pay is guilty of a Class I felony. Wisconsin State Statue 943.24(2)
Q. What should I do if I have a worthless check?
A. Complete the Issue of WorthLess Check Packet (link below) and take it to your neighborhood police station.
Q. The worthless check is drawn on a bank account outside of Wisconsin. What should I do?
Q. The person accepting the check(s) is unwilling to testify in court?
A. You will not be able to file a complaint with the Milwaukee Police Department – you must proceed in Small Claims Court.
Q. The check writer(s) identification was not inspected. What should I do?
Q. What check(s) are not accepted for a criminal complaint?
A. Checks Not covered by Wisconsin State Statue 943.24, due to various prosecutorial polices are:
- Post-dated checks (checks dated after date of sale/transaction, except payroll checks),
- Checks issued for past considerations, except payroll checks,
- Checks not received in the City of Milwaukee,
- Third – party checks,
- Checks under $2,500, except checks that are being, or have been, pursued by collection agencies,
- Stop-payment checks,
- Checks stamped “Uncollected Funds” or “Refer to Maker,” unless additional information can be obtained by the complainant from the issuing bank in writing which provides grounds for pursuing Issue of Worthless Check charges (i.e. substantiates attempt to defraud at the time the check was issued),
- Checks issued to the complainant more than one year ago,
- Check cases in which the complainant wishes to assess punitive damages (i.e. inconvenience charges, bank services charges, etc.),
- Checks issued by someone other than the person in whose name the account was opened,
- Check cases that have been processed through Small Claims Court,
- Checks that are being, or have been, pursued by collection agencies,
- Checks drawn on out-of-state financial institutions,
- Checks processed through a check-cashing service (i.e. Tele-Check, etc.),
- Checks for which partial payment has been accepted,
- Checks to charitable, non-profit organizations issued as monetary donations,
- Checks issued for contractual agreements, including rent or security deposit for rental property,
- Checks issued for payment of damages involving landlord/tenant disputes,
- Past refusal or unreasonable failure to make personnel available for prosecution of offender(s),
- Checks issued for illegal contracts (i.e. gambling, drugs, etc.).