Felony Bad Check or Worthless Checks
Arrested for Bad Checks?
Florida law prohibits the passing of worthless or bad checks or stopping payment on a check with the specific intent to defraud under Chapter 832 of Florida Statutes. If you have been arrested for a felony worthless check offense, you should know about three important aspects of the law: 1.) If you knew that there were insufficient funds available in your account to cover the check at the time you obtained goods or services, you have committed this offense. 2.) By passing bad checks in Pinellas County and exchanging it for goods or services, the law infers that you have already demonstrated the necessary specific intent that the check be honored. 3.) Making later restitution on bad checks by paying the victim the full amount in cash does not serve as a valid legal defense for the violation of this offense. The court’s rationale for this is that the crime was already committed back at the time you originally uttered or passed the worthless check.
If payment is stopped on a check for goods or services valued at $150.00 or more, the check writer has committed a third degree felony. Additionally, any person who writes a bad check knowing that there are inadequate funds to honor the check, in return for services or goods priced at $150.00 or greater has also committed a third degree felony. Third degree felonies carry sentences of up to five years incarceration in state prison and up to a $5,000.00 fine. Learn more about the implications of a felony conviction here.
Possible Solutions for a Felony Bad Checks Case
Contact us for a free consultation. If you live in another state, or are in another part of Florida that is not convenient to Pinellas County, we may be able to resolve your charges without the need for you to return. Speak to us about the possible strategies that could include:
- Getting the Charge Dismissed – We can investigate whether the State’s properly investigated the matter or complied with the statute of limitations;
- Pre-Trial Intervention Program – A client who successfully completes this program will benefit from a dismissal of the criminal case.
- Negotiated Plea Bargains – We can enter into negotiations with the State Attorney’s Office to avoid formal conviction and incarceration.
- Entering a Plea in Absentia – Out of State persons facing Misdemeanor Worthless Check charges may avoid returning to Pinellas County through this strategy. A final disposition or plea bargain is drafted by your attorney and mailed to you for your signature before a notary. Your attorney makes all required court appearances on your behalf, avoiding the need for you to miss work and the expense of traveling back to Pinellas County.)
- Outstanding Felony Arrest Warrants on Worthless Check Charges – We can determine if you have an outstanding arrest warrant in Pinellas County that is related to a felony bad check case. We may be able to tell you the bond amount assigned and when the case was filed. Most importantly, we can quickly address the warrant itself in an effort to avoid your untimely arrest.
- Sealing or Expungement – If we resolve your case so that you are not formally convicted, you may then be eligible to petition to the court to sealed or expunge your criminal records related to this case.
We are Pinellas Defense Attorneys Who Can Help
We are Former State Prosecutors with an extensive background and experience in helping clients charged with Felony Worthless or bad Checks. Call us today for a free consultation at (727) 578-0303 to discuss an appropriate strategy in your case.