Legal Precautions
Criminal Liability on Making a Check

A bank check is significant commercial paper which many persons use in their daily business activities. The validity of a check has been considered by the Saudi Legislature pursuant to Article 9 of the Saudi Execution Law. This Article considers the check an execution document which prescribes payment according to its terms. 

Article 118 of the Commercial Papers Law 1383H, amended by Royal Decree No. (M/45), dated 12/9/1409H, sets forth certain scenarios for criminal liability in making checks such as:

  • The maker draws a check knowing that he does not have sufficient funds to cover the amount;  
  • He makes a check for an amount greater that the fund balances in his account;
  • The maker, after issuing the check, retrieves it knowing that his funds do not exceed the amount of the check;
  • The drawer orders the drawee  not to pay the amount of the check; and
  • The drawer deliberately edits or signs the check in a manner that prevents the check from being honored when presented for payment.

A person who violates the law shall be subject to a penalty of imprisonment for a period not exceeding three (3) years and/or a fine not exceeding Fifty Thousand Riyals. If the offender recommits any of these crimes within three (3) years from the date of being sentenced, the penalty is imprisonment for a term not exceeding five (5) years and/or a fine not exceeding One Hundred Thousand Riyals.