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In Florida, it is a crime to make, issue, or deliver a check or use a debit card knowing that there is insufficient funds to cover the cost of item or service sought.

Essentially, if you give someone a check as a form of payment knowing that there is not enough money in the account, you will have committed the crime of Worthless Checks in Florida.

The same is true when it comes to the use of a debit card in Florida. This happens less often as your card would likely just get declined.

Further, Florida law provides that the subsequent payment of a dishonored check is not a defense to the charges.

Penalties for a Worthless Check Charge

In Florida, Worthless Check charges are classified as a first degree misdemeanor if the amount of the worthless check is less than $150.

A Florida first degree misdemeanor is punishable by up to:
  1. One year in the county jail;
  2. One year of supervised probation;
  3. A $1,000 fine

Florida reclassifies a Worthless Check charge to a third degree felony if the amount of the worthless check is $150 or more.

A Florida third degree felony is punishable by up to:
  1. Five years in state prison;
  2. Five years of supervised probation;
  3. A $5,000

Defenses to a Worthless Check Charge

In addition to factual defenses that would be raised at trial to show reasonable doubt as to the crime alleged, some common defenses to a Worthless Check charge in Florida include:

Lack of knowledge of insufficient funds
One of the most common defenses to a Worthless Check charge in Florida is that you did not know your account had insufficient funds at the time you issued the check.

Florida law states that it is only a crime if at the time you issued the check, you knew you did not have sufficient funds. If you thought you had sufficient funds but were mistaken, you will have a defense to a Worthless Check charge in Florida.

The person or business you issued the check to knew you had insufficient funds
If the person or business you issued the check to, knew or was notified that you did not have sufficient funds at the time the check was issued, you will have a defense to a Worthless Check charge.

The check was postdated
The issuance of a postdated check will not constitute the crime of Worthless Checks in Florida. If the check in question is indeed a postdated check, you will have a defense to a Worthless Check charge in Florida.

Contact Orlando Criminal Defense Attorney Chris Kaigle if you’ve been charged with Worthless Checks in Florida!
(407) 545-6416