The law on bouncing checks can be found in Batas Pambansa Blg. (National Law No. 22). It states:
Any person who makes or draws and issues any check to apply on account or for value, knowing at the time of issue that he does not have sufficient funds in or credit with the drawee bank for the payment of such check in full upon its presentment, which check is subsequently dishonored by the drawee bank for insufficiency of funds or credit or would have been dishonored for the same reason had not the drawer, without any valid reason, ordered the bank to stop payment, shall be punished by imprisonment of not less than thirty days but not more than one (1) year or by a fine of not less than but not more than double the amount of the check which fine shall in no case exceed Two Hundred Thousand Pesos, or both such fine and imprisonment at the discretion of the court.
The same penalty shall be imposed upon any person who, having sufficient funds in or credit with the drawee bank when he makes or draws and issues a check, shall fail to keep sufficient funds or to maintain a credit to cover the full amount of the check if presented within a period of ninety (90) days from the date appearing thereon, for which reason it is dishonored by the drawee bank.
Where the check is drawn by a corporation, company or entity, the person or persons who actually signed the check in behalf of such drawer shall be liable under this Act.
What are the acts punished under this law?
1. Drawing and issuing any check to apply on account or for value, knowing at the time of issue that he does not have sufficient funds, then the check bounced.
Here, the person issued the check to pay for something, knowing fully well that he has no sufficient funds to cover the issued check. As a separate crime, this likewise constitutes estafa under Article 315 (2) (d) of the Revised Penal Code.
2. Failing to keep sufficient funds or to maintain a credit to cover the full amount of the check if presented within a period of ninety (90) days from the date appearing thereon, but at the time of issuance, there were sufficient funds.
Here, the issued check initially can be covered with sufficient bank funds. But when encashed within 90 days from the date in the check, it bounced. Here the offender is punished for failing to maintain sufficient funds and not for issuing an empty check per se.
Who are the one punished under this law?
1. Any person who draws or issues the bum check
2. If the check is drawn by a corporation, company or entity, the person or persons who actually signed the check in behalf of such drawer. This includes government checks.
What are some of the defenses for this offense?
1. Prescription (simply means the expiration of the right to prosecute the offense)
Here the prescription period if four years from five-day notice of dishonor (notice to drawer that the check bounced and giving him/her 5 days to make good the check) (Act 3326, as amended)
2. Payment within the five day notice of dishonor