Bounced checks (worthless checks, bad checks, rubber checks) are something that often is the subject of jokes around the water cooler, “I’m so broke I could bounce a check to the moon.”
But as funny as those well intended jokes may be, actually writing worthless “rubber” checks is a serious thing with potentially serious consequences.
Sometimes a check may simply be bounced due to an improperly balanced checkbook – The husband forgot to tell his wife he wrote a check to the mechanic so she didn’t write it down, and the story writes itself.
Most of us have had that type accounting error happen at least once, if not multiple times over the years, and it can usually be taken care of by paying some bank fees and fees to the one the check bounced to, plus providing them with cash or money order to cover the original amount of the check.
But what happens in cases of intentionally writing bad checks, or cases where unintentional bad checks were not taken care of?
Bouncing checks can lead to criminal charges and even arrest. Imagine how frightening it would be to be riding in the car with your kids and be stopped for a simply traffic violation and have your identity run, and the officer comes back and places you under arrest for outstanding worthless checks! Or what about applying for a job which requires a background check and being turned down because of the same thing? Believe it or not this happens more often than most people think.
If you have ever made accounting errors and think you may have written some bad checks at some point, it’s a good idea to consult a lawyer who can run a simple background check to determine if you may have an outstanding warrant, then assist you in taking care of it before it becomes a far worse problem.
But what if you’ve already been charged or arrested? A Miami criminal defense attorney like Evan Hoffman can still help settle the matter and defend you against prosecution. Even in cases of intentional fraud, a criminal defender is a must in fighting those charges properly.
Florida law – chapter 832.05 section 2a states that:
“It is unlawful for any person, firm, or corporation to draw, make, utter, issue, or deliver to another any check, draft, or other written order on any bank or depository, or to use a debit card, for the payment of money or its equivalent, knowing at the time of the drawing, making, uttering, issuing, or delivering such check or draft, or at the time of using such debit card, that the maker or drawer thereof has not sufficient funds on deposit in or credit with such bank or depository with which to pay the same on presentation”
Chapter 832.05 section 2b defines the possible charges for Check Bouncing as:
“A violation of the provisions of this subsection constitutes a *misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083, unless the check, draft, debit card order, or other written order drawn, made, uttered, issued, or delivered is in the amount of $150, or its equivalent, or more and the payee or a subsequent holder thereof receives something of value therefore. In that event, the violation constitutes a *felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.”
If you are dealing with bounced checks, give Evan Hoffman a call today and let him help you with his legal advice.