Charged with Giving Worthless Checks? Kenneth Padowitz, P.A. Has Successfully Resolved Worthless Check Charges in Fort Lauderdale

If you are facing criminal charges for worthless checks, it is imperative that you secure experienced legal counsel in order to protect your rights.  Broward criminal defense attorney Kenneth Padowitz has a almost 30 years of experience in cases involving theft and other criminal charges throughout South Florida.

Under Florida law, it is a criminal offense to knowingly give worthless checks to another as payment for services.  In prosecuting these charges, the State must establish that the offender had the requisite criminal intent, in that they had actual knowledge that the checks they were giving were worthless.

It is not a crime to bounce a check. Errors can happen in managing a checking account. If the person accepting the check is aware that there are not sufficient funds to cover the check, such as when you tell the person receiving the check not to cash it until a certain date, there is no crime committed. Post dated checks are not criminal for the same reason.

The State may prosecute these charges as felonies or misdemeanors in Florida based on the value of the check written.  If the check, draft, written order, or debt card order is for less than $150 then it constitutes a first-degree misdemeanor, which may be penalized by up to twelve months in county jail and/or fines up to $1,000.   If the check, draft, written order, or debit cart order is for $150 or more, then it constitutes a third-degree felony, punishable by up to five years in prison and/or fines up to $5,000.

 A felony charge for writing a worthless check can only be sustained if there is property obtained for the check. If the State does not prove this essential element then the charge must be made a misdemeanor.

Florida Statute

832.05 Giving worthless checks, drafts, and debit card orders; penalty; duty of drawee; evidence; costs; complaint form.


(a) 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; except that this section does not apply to any check when the payee or holder knows or has been expressly notified prior to the drawing or uttering of the check, or has reason to believe, that the drawer did not have on deposit or to the drawer’s credit with the drawee sufficient funds to ensure payment as aforesaid, nor does this section apply to any postdated check.
(b) 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 therefor. 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.

Fort Lauderdale Criminal Attorney

Fort Lauderdale Criminal Attorney Kenneth Padowitz has the experience, strategy and skills to aggressively defend you from any Worthless check, draft or debit card criminal charge. There are multiple defenses that can be employed from issues of Identity as to who wrote the check to knowledge of lack of funds. Sometimes expert witnesses are required to testify as to the signature on the check matching the accused. (See Redmond v. State, 731 So.2d 77, 1999). Other times, expert witnesses are required to identify someone captured on video at the bank cashing the check as the same person sitting in court. (See Proctor v. State, 97 So.3d 313, 2012) It takes a Criminal Defense Trial Lawyer like Kenneth Padowitz to hold the State to its burden of proof. If the State does not do it’s job in proving their case legally and correctly, the result should be a not guilty or lowering of charges. Call Kenneth Padowitz today for a free consultation on your case.


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