A worthless check is simply one that, when cashed, gets returned for insufficient fees. Whether intentional or unintentional, writing a worthless check in Florida can cost you big time. Legally speaking, of course. What generally happens is that an individual will write a check, the recipient will attempt (unsuccessfully) to cash it and the check will then be returned to the person with the following options:
- Pay the full amount of the check with certain fees
- Ignore the notice
This blog is to let you know about the legal consequences of ignoring a worthless check notice (option 2). In many instances, the recipient of the worthless (often also referred to as a bad check) will send formal notice demanding full payment as well as fees associated with the returned check. If these conditions are not met then the recipient can file both civil and criminal charges against you. This is certainly not something you will ever want to deal with. Consider the notice a warning that you should heed to and make sure to send payment right away. Individuals usually have seven days to respond with payment to a notice so make sure to act quickly.
Here’s a look at some of the potential penalties you could face if convicted of writing a worthless check in Florida:
– Jail: that’s right, the judge in your case does have the option of putting you in jail for a period of time.
– Restitution to the victim: restitution refers to making the plaintiff in your case whole again. This can include the amount of the check in addition to other things.
– Financial damages up to three times the amount of the check: As a penalty for writing a bad check, the court is allowed to award damages up to three times the amount of the check that was originally issued. For instance, if you originally wrote a bad check for $1,000 you may now need to write a good check for $3,000.
– Court and attorneys fees: You will likely need to pay the court and attorneys fees the plaintiff incurred in pursing legal action against you. These can get costly if your case goes all the way to court.
As you can see, if you cannot afford the check you are writing then you really cannot afford the penalties for doing so. Additionally, having a criminal conviction on your record for something like this is certainly not ideal.
If you have received a notice or already have criminal charges against you for writing a worthless check, get in touch with the attorneys at Finebloom & Haenel P.A. now. We will work hard to defend the criminal charges against you and resolve the situation quickly. Working with a criminal defense attorney may help you avoid the many serious potential penalties associated with writing a worthless check and avoid a criminal conviction on your record. We are available day and night to speak with you and look forward to hearing from you soon!