According to Florida Statute §832.05(2), if a person issues a check and he/she has prior knowledge of insufficient funds, and the check is bounced, this criminal act is considered as issuing a worthless check.
Nothing of Value Needs to be Exchanged
It is to be noted that if someone issues a worthless check intentionally, it will be considered as a felony even if nothing is exchanged between both parties. This act is different from a crime where a property is obtained by a worthless check.
Withdrawing Funds Prior to Cashing
If a person withdraws money from his/her account before the issued check is cashed and there are insufficient funds for cashing the check, it will be considered as a proof that the person was aware of the insufficient funds in the account.
Penalties for Issuing Worthless Checks
A prosecutor can litigate legal proceedings in this matter as a felony or misdemeanor, and it will also depend on the amount mentioned on the check.
Misdemeanor Issuing Worthless Checks
If the amount mentioned on the worthless check is below $150, it will be considered as a misdemeanor of first degree in Florida. Any person found guilty may face any of the following legal punishments:
Imprisonment of that can extend up to one year
Probation that can extend up to one year
A fine of $1000
Felony Issuing Worthless Checks
If the amount mentioned on the worthless check is equal to or greater than $150, it will be considered as a felony of the third degree and offense of level 1 as per the Criminal punishment code of Florida. A person found guilty of such charges may be handed any of the following legal punishments:
Imprisonment of a maximum of five years
Probation that may extend up to five years
Defenses to Issuing Worthless Checks
Payee's Knowledge of Insufficient Funds
If the receiver/payee had prior knowledge or should have prior knowledge of the fact that there were insufficient funds at the time of issuance of the check, it can be used as a defense in this case.
If the check was postdated, it could be used as a strong defense in such cases.
Contact Criminal Defense Lawyer Larry Avallone
If you have been charged or arrested in the Daytona Beach area, contact Larry Avallone, who is an expert Criminal Defense Lawyer in Volusia County. My initial consultation is completely free. I am ready to provide legal advice regarding the next steps in your case.