Florida Bad Check Law - Florida Worthless Check Offenses
The State of Florida has a number of laws designed to regulate checks and how they are written. The most common offense involves writing a bad check or worthless check. If there are insufficient funds in the account for a check that you have written and the drafter of the check knows that there are insufficient funds, then a third-degree felony has been committed and is punishable by up to five years in prison.
The State of Florida may also charge you with a crime for depositing an item with the intent to defraud another. This is also a third-degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison. If you have been accused, investigated or have been arrested for the criminal charge of bad checks, contact an Orlando criminal lawyer at Moses and Rooth Attorneys at Law.
Some of the statutes involving bad checks or worthless checks include:
832.04 Stopping payment; purchase of farm or grove products.
832.041 Stopping payment with intent to defraud.
832.05 Giving worthless checks, drafts, and debit card orders; penalty; duty of drawee; evidence; costs; complaint form.
832.06 Prosecution for worthless checks given to tax collector for licenses or taxes; refunds.
832.062 Prosecution for worthless checks, drafts, debit card orders, or electronic funds transfers made to pay any tax or associated amount administered by the Department of Revenue.
832.075 Requiring credit card information for check or draft acceptance prohibited.
832.09 Suspension of driver's license after warrant or capias is issued in worthless check case.
In a case in which the check was post-dated, the State Attorney's Office will not typically prosecute the case if the merchant admits that the check was post-dated. If the check was post-dated, that indicates that the merchant took the check knowing that the funds were not in the account, therefore no fraud can be alleged. Furthermore, the cases are not usually prosecuted when the holder of the check was asked to hold or delay deposit of the check. Other factors important to determining whether the case should be prosecuted and possible defenses include the following:
- Whether the check was delivered by a person other than the check writer
- Whether the check was incompletely filled out or was illegible
- The check was not deposited within a timely fashion (typically 30 days)
- The check only had one signature, even though two signatures were required
- The recipient knew or had reason to know that the check writer had deficient funds in the bank to honor the check
- Whether a certified letter was mailed to the check writer notifying the check writer that the check was returned
- Whether the person who took the check can identify the check writer by prior knowledge or acquaintance with the check writer, personal recollection of the check writer from the time the check was received, personal data recorded on the check, or personal data recorded on a check cashing card, contract, etc.
- Whether the person accepting the check initialed the check
- Whether a photograph was made of the person writing the check
- Whether the check holder had ever received a bad check from the person before
The criminal offense of obtaining goods or services for a worthless check is a serious criminal offense because it is considered a "crime of dishonesty." If you are convicted of the offense, you will forever have to disclose on most job applications that you have been convicted of a crime of dishonesty. If you have been accused, investigated or have been arrested for the criminal charge of bad checks, contact an Orlando criminal lawyer at Moses and Rooth Attorneys at Law.
From our office next to the Orange County Courthouse, the Moses & Rooth law firm represents clients in the Central Florida communities of Orange County, Seminole County, Osceola County, contact an Orlando criminal lawyer County, Brevard County, Lake County, and Polk County.