A local contractor issued two checks to a vendor for services rendered. Not realizing he had erred in balancing his account, the checks were returned for insufficient funds. He was unable to pay his debt and the State filed 2 counts of Felony Worthless Checks, punishable by up to 10 years in state prison.
Felony Worthless Checks
A worthless or bad check in Florida is not only a criminal offense, but it is also constituted as either a misdemeanor or a felony under Florida Statutes 832.05. This crime occurs when an individual issues a check with the knowledge that there are insufficient funds in their banking account to cover the amount when paying for goods or services.
Penalties For Worthless Checks
Issuing a worthless check for $150 or more is a third-degree felony in the state of Florida. This is punishable by up to 5 years in prison, 5 years of probation time, and a fine of $5,000. It is considered a level 1 offense on Florida’s Criminal Punishment Code. In some cases, there could be a loss of a professional license. There could also be forced repayment for the worthless check amount, along with a criminal record.
Defenses for worthless checks include:
- Can the prosecution prove the identity of the accused?
- Did the defendant know that there were insufficient funds in their banking account? Or was it simply a mistake or oversight on the defendant’s part?
- Did the payee wait in depositing the check?
- Did the defendant believe there was overdraft protection?
- Did the payee receive notice that there were insufficient funds to cover the check?
- Was the prosecution for the worthless check brought within the statute of limitations? The statute of limitations is 6 months to file a complaint. Lawsuits must be brought forward within 3 years of the date on the worthless check.
- Can the prosecution prove that something of value was obtained from the worthless check?
- Was there an error in the bank’s system?
Contacting Musca Law Firm
If you have been charged with felony counts of worthless checks, Musca Law Firm wants to hear from you. At Musca Law firm, a skilled attorney can put together a strong defense for your case after looking into all the facts. With our law firm having over 150 years of combined experience, we will be able to negotiate in your best interest. We can also assist you in expunging your record if the charges on your case have been dismissed. We serve all of Florida and have offices located in many cities for your geographical convenience. Call us today so we can advise you on the action that should be taken against your case.
RESULT: At a pre-trial hearing, the Defense Attorney presented the Prosecutor with a copy of 2 cashier checks payable to the original party, even though making the restitution did not constitute a defense to the charges. The Defense Attorney was able to convince the State to drop the 2 criminal charges against our Client and DISMISSED the case.