One can be arrested for writing a bad check and prosecuted criminally. State laws address the civil and criminal penalties for writing bad checks. A civil penalty addresses how much the recipient of the bad check is allowed to receive, and this amount can be higher than the bounced check.
The amount could be double or even triple the original amount plus damages and attorney's fees. Usually, a bad check does not become a criminal matter unless there is intent to defraud by the person writing the check. Most individuals cover a bad check as soon as possible, so criminal penalties do not come into play.