The Struggle is Real
If eating hotdogs in real hotdog buns felt fancy to you growing up, your parents probably wrote a bogus check a time or two.
Sometimes they did it to defer a sky-high utility bill until payday. Other times they were trying to keep food on the table and the debt collectors at bay. You know, like the worst of them that always called in the middle of dinner.
Skirting Scammer Territory
Looking back, we don't think less of our parents for omitting their John Hancock from the check they mailed off to the gas company.
Were they skirting scammer territory? Okay, yes—but only because they had to. If our parents had had the money, they gladly would've payed their bills on time as opposed to throwing themselves at Susan's mercy over at the [insert utility] company.
Idaho's Bad Check Laws
Despite their reasons, in the eyes of Idaho law, the struggle to make ends meet is no excuse for intentionally cutting a bad check. We hate to break it to you, but conveniently "forgetting" to sign a check is no better.
Any person who issues a check, and knowing at the time of issuance, that they have insufficient funds in their bank or depository institution, is criminally liable.
-Idaho Code Section 18-3106
Avoid Steep Fines & Prison Time
"Criminally liable." Yikes! If that sounds bad, it's because it is.
If county prosecutors find an Idahoan guilty of check fraud, he or she can be fined $50,000 and sentenced up to three years in prison. To avoid bankruptcy and a prison stint, you might want to consider the Idaho Assistance Program. Visit Idaho Power, the program's Community Action Partnership, to get the ball rolling.