Florida Statute 832.05 makes it unlawful for a person to:
- Draw, make, utter, issue or deliver to another, any check
- Knowing at the time of the drawing, making, uttering or delivering
- There are insufficient funds in the account
This statute seeks to criminalize the act of a person drawing, issuing, making or delivered a check, draft or any other written money order, or use a debit card when at the time of doing so, the person knew that there insufficient funds in the account to cover the transaction or payment.
Purposely writing a check or instrument without enough funds to cover the transaction is fraudulent behavior and Florida Law treats it as such. However, as with most criminal laws, the most important element the state has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt is Intent.
Proving the Intent to Defraud
To prove that you had the intent to defraud can sometimes be more difficult than a state attorney seems. The statute does not punish us just because our account was not flush with money. Oftentimes, people write checks that are “Post Dated” meaning that the date written on the check indicates a date in the future when the check will be cashed.
Situations where the person receiving the check, even though today’s date may be written on it, is told that the account is empty and several days must pass before the check can be cashed. There are also situations where a check has an expiration date written on it and the receiving party tries to cash the check after the expiration date.
Furthermore ,everyone has bounced checks or over drafted their bank account from time to time. In these situations, you are not likely to be prosecuted for Worthless Check in Broward, Miami or Palm Beach.
The important piece of the puzzle is that there must be a Criminal Intent present during the drawing, issuing, making, delivering or use of the debit card to constitute a criminal action under this section. The police and the state will look to the Totality of the Circumstances when determining whether there is sufficient information to file a criminal charge.
This means is that they will look at the circumstances surrounding the drawing, issuing, making, delivering or use of a debit card. They will look at bank records which will show:
- Time the check was written
- Balance of the account
- Deposit/withdrawal history
- Overdraft history
- Time the account has been active/inactive
- Circumstances of your writing check/using debit card
The police and state use all of these things put together to determine whether there was a criminal intent. If you are under investigation for possible Fraud, contact an attorney immediately.
Penalties for Worthless Checks in Miami
Depending on the Value of the check, you can be charged with a Misdemeanor or a Felony
Value Less than $150.00 = Misdemeanor
Punishable up to:
- Maximum 1 year in jail
- Maximum 1 year of probation
- Maximum $1,000.00 fine
Value Greater than $150.00 = 3rd Degree Felony
Punishable up to:
- Maximum 5 years in prison
- Maximum 5 years of probation
- Maximum $5,000.00 fine
Broward County, Miami, and Palm Beach Check Fraud Attorney
The state attorney must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you intended to defraud another person. Hiring an attorney as soon as possible will help you start to build your defense and work toward a speedy resolution to your charges. The only goal we have is to work as hard as possible to achieve a positive result for our client’s cases.
The Office of Dell & Schaefer has been representing criminal defense clients since 1979. Lead Attorney Grant Schwarz is rated as a Top 100 Trial Lawyer by National Trial Lawyers, and ready to take your case on and start fighting to defend your rights today. Contact the office of Dell & Schaefer if you or someone you know has been charged with a Florida Fraud Crime.