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Worthless Checks Put a Skilled and Trial-Proven Attorney in Your Corner

Worthless Checks Criminal Defense Attorney

Miami White Collar Crime Lawyer, Serving Fort Lauderdale & Beyond

When a consumer in Florida writes a check to pay for property or services without the necessary funds to cover the payment, it is commonly referred to as a worthless check (these are also occasionally called hot checks, rubber checks, or bounced checks). When a check is returned to the payee (the party who received the payment) for insufficient funds or other account issues, the party that wrote the check could face criminal charges.

Many people who write worthless checks had absolutely no criminal intent when making their payments. In most cases, alleged offenders may have forgotten about additional account deductions or simply mismanaged their finances by honest oversight.

If you have been arrested for allegedly writing a bad check in Florida, it is in your best interest to seek legal representation as soon as possible. The Hoffman Firm can help you fight for a favorable outcome to your case with the aim of achieving the fewest possible penalties. Our Miami white collar crime attorney, Evan Hoffman, represents clients in complex criminal defense cases in Hialeah, Miami Beach, Opa-locka, South Miami, and many other areas in Miami-Dade and Broward County.

We are here for you. If your case is in Miami call (305) 928-1669, if your case is in Broward County call 954-737-3004 now to get started.

Understanding Worthless Check Charges in Florida

Passing a bad check in Florida can result in criminal and civil penalties. In order for an alleged offender to be convicted of giving a worthless check, however, a prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the alleged offender knew there were insufficient funds in his or her account to cover the amount of the check that was written.

Chapter 17.4 of the Florida Jury Instructions outlines the elements a prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt in order to convict an alleged offender of obtaining property or services in return for worthless checks, drafts, or debit card orders.

These include:

  • The alleged offender drew, made, uttered, issued, or delivered a check, draft, or debit card order;
  • The alleged offender did so to obtain services, goods, wares, or some other thing of value alleged;
  • The services, goods, wares, or some other thing of value alleged had some monetary value;
  • When the alleged offender did so, there was not sufficient money on deposit in the bank to pay the check, draft, or debit card order;
  • The alleged offender knew when the check, draft, or debit card order was written there was not sufficient money on deposit with the bank; and
  • The alleged offender knew there was no arrangement or understanding with the bank for the payment of the check when it was presented.

The jury instructions also state that an alleged offender must be found not guilty if the defense has proven that the payee knew that the alleged offender’s funds and credit at the bank at the time the check was given were insufficient to pay the check or the payee had good reason to believe that the alleged offender’s funds and credit at the bank at the time the check was given were insufficient to pay the check.

Penalties for Worthless Checks in Florida

The penalties for writing rubber checks are established under Florida Statute § 832.05. The statute applies to paper checks as well as drafts, bills of exchange, debit card orders, and other written money orders for payment.

The criminal penalties for bouncing a check depend on the value of the check, draft, or debit card order drew, made, uttered, issued, or delivered in Florida are:

  • Less Than $150: First-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000
  • $150 or More: Third-degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison and/or a fine of up to $5,000

In addition to possible incarceration and fines, alleged offenders can also be subject to civil penalties for writing bad checks.

Under Florida Statute § 68.065, an alleged offender who fails to pay the amount owed within 30 days of receiving a written demand for the owed amount may can be liable for all of the following in addition to the amount owed:

  • Treble damages (triple the amount of the actual damages);
  • Courts costs; and
  • Reasonable attorney fees.

How to Protect Yourself: Worthless Bank Checks

Not all returned checks are considered worthless checks in Florida, and you can learn more about the differences between designations on the Attorney General’s website. Checks returned “NSF” (non-sufficient funds), “Account Not Found” or “NSF Unless Otherwise Indicated are subject to prosecution, but checks stamped “Refer to Maker” or “Uncollected Funds” may require additional investigation. Checks stamped “Stop Payment” may be subject to criminal prosecution, but are commonly resolved in small claims court civil suits while checks returned “Unauthorized Drawer’s Signature(s)” should be presented to the Sheriff’s Office or local authorities for investigations.

Schedule a Complimentary Consultation Today

If you have been charged with allegedly writing a worthless check in Florida, it is in your best interest to immediately seek legal representation; The Hoffman Firm can help you work to get your criminal charges reduced or dismissed. We represent clients in Plantation, Coral Springs, Sunrise, Lauderhill, Cooper City, Fort Lauderdale, and surrounding communities in Broward and Miami-Dade Counties.

Call us at (305) 928-1669 if you are in Miami, or 954-737-3004 if you are in Broward County, to schedule a consultation with an experienced criminal defense attorney.

Why Should You Choose The Hoffman Firm?

Here Are Six Reasons
  • Client-Focused Representation

    Our Firm is dedicated to client satisfaction. We are available 24/7 to help those in need.

  • Decades of Experience

    Attorney Evan Hoffman has over two decades of experience fighting for the accused.

  • Premier Criminal Defense Firm

    Experienced Attorney Evan Hoffman has handled some of the most high profile and complex cases.

  • Proven Track Record

    Client satisfaction is our top priority. At The Hoffman Firm we take great pride in our success and case victories.

  • Florida Former State Prosecutor

    Attorney Evan Hoffman has extensive knowledge of the strategies used by prosecutors throughout Florida.

  • Free Initial Consultation

    We offer free initial consultations to ensure that we have your best interests in mind.

Hear it From Our Clients

Read What Past Clients Had to Say
  • “As busy as he is, I was always able to get a hold of him. He provided me his personal cell phone and I was always able to text him if I had any questions.”

    - John
  • “Evan was able to get all my charges dismissed and now 6 months after the worst mistake of my life (getting arrested), Evan was able to give me my life back.”

    - Stacy
  • “I cannot say enough great things about Evan and his staff. He helped me and he will help you too. Call Evan if you are ever in legal trouble.”

    - Armando
  • “I know that I am grateful for all of Evan's hard work and can without a doubt recommend him to my friends, family and all of those out there on the world wide web.”

    - Joshua
  • “If anyone is ever arrested or even under investigation, I can assure you the only person you need to call is EVAN!”

    - John
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Record Of Success

Aggressive Traffic Ticket Defense
  • Case Dismissed Possession of Marijuana

    We filed a motion to suppress the stop based upon an illegal search and seizure. The Judge ruled that the officer did not have probable cause to stop the client.

  • Not Guilty Felony Robbery

    Client was charged with armed robbery in Tallahassee. In less than an hour, the jury returned a verdict of not guilty.

  • Charges Dropped Felony Possession of a Firearm

    Our client was arrested for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and grand theft of a firearm.

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