Florida law provides for criminal charges against anyone that presents a worthless check or other types of orders to pay money and “commercial papers” under Florida Statute §832.05(2).
In most cases, the person with the worthless check must meet certain statutory requirements by providing notice to the person who presented the check and providing the person with an opportunity to pay the check plus any applicable fees. If the person refuses to pay restitution, then the State Attorney’s Office can pursue criminal charges with are much more expensive and can result in a criminal record.
Melbourne Worthless Check Attorney
If you are under investigation for issuing worthless checks in Florida, immediate action is necessary in order to have the best chance of beating these allegations and moving on with your life.
Many clients hire the Law Offices of Germain & McCarthy after they have moved out of the area and find out about an outstanding warrant for their arrest. The goal in many of these cases is to resolve the case so that the client can seal or expunge the criminal record. Any worthless check charge is considered a crime of dishonesty that can show up in even the most basic background check.
We help individuals charged with worthless check to make arrangements with the State Attorney’s Office to drop the charges in exchange for the restitution amount being paid in full. Call the Law Offices of Germain & McCarthy at (321) 253-3447 to discuss the facts of you particular case today. The legal team proudly represent individuals from the Florida counties of Brevard, Orange, Volusia, Seminole, Indian River and Osceola.
Elements and Penalties of a Worthless Check under Florida Law
In order to prove the charge of presenting a worthless check (or another type of similar transaction) the prosecutor with the State Attorney’s office must prove the following elements beyond all reasonable doubt (§832.05):
The Defendant did one of the following acts with the check admitted into evidence:
- delivered; or
- issued, knowing that:
- When the defendant did so, there was not sufficient money on deposit in the bank to pay the check
- The defendant knew when he wrote the check that he did not have sufficient money on deposit with the bank.
- Defendant knew he had no arrangement or understanding with the bank for the payment of the check when it was presented.
The penalties, if convicted of this offense depend on the amount of the check itself. If the value of less that $150, the charge will be a misdemeanor of the first degree, which comes with a presumptive sentence of up to one year in jail and / or fines of up to $1,000.
If the value of the check was $150 or more, the charge will be classified as a third-degree felony, which comes with a presumptive sentence of up to 5 years in prison and / or up to $5,000 in fines.
Defenses to the Criminal Charge of Worthless Check
The defendant is not guilty of presenting a worthless check if one of the following defenses has been proven:
- The person who accepted the check (name of payee or holder) knew that the Defendant’s funds and credit at the bank at the time the check was given were insufficient to pay the check; or
- The person who accepted the check (name of payee or holder) had good reason to believe that Defendant’s funds and credit at the bank at the time the check was given were insufficient to pay the check; or
- The check was post-dated.
When an employee of a business receives a check, the business must be regarded as knowing whatever the employee knows about the check.
The Law Offices of Germain & McCarthy | Hot Checks in Brevard County
If you have an outstanding warrant for a felony or misdemeanor worthless check case then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney to discuss the facts and circumstances of your case. We work with you to resolve any outstanding warrant and advise you on possible ways to get the State Attorney’s Office to drop the criminal charges because of defenses that exist in the case.
Call The Law Offices of Germain & McCarthy at (321) 253-3447 or send an online message to go over the specifics of your case in the form of a free and confidential consultation. The legal team proudly represents individuals accused of issuing worthless checks in and around the Florida cities of Melbourne, Merritt Island, Titusville, La Grange, Dummit Grove, Williams Point, Angel City, Pineda, Orlando, Winter Park, Ormond Beach, Oak Hill, South Daytona, Vero Beach, Orchid, Winter Springs, Kissimmee and Saint Cloud, among many others.