A Bad Check Lawyer In St. Petersburg May Be Able To Help Fight A Felony Bad Check Charge
Sometimes as individuals, or even business owners, in Tampa Bay, we understand the temptation to cover outstanding payments by writing checks we know will bounce. However, passing bad checks in Florida is a serious criminal offense. Charges can lead to felony convictions, jail time, fines and a criminal record. Despite the serious consequences of writing bad checks under Florida law, there can be potential defenses to fight these charges. An experienced bad check lawyer can bring a lot of value when facing prosecution. By understanding the risks and leveraging the right legal help, those accused of passing bad checks can mitigate penalties.
Consequences Of Writing A Bad Check in Florida
As criminal defense attorneys practicing in Florida, we see many clients facing charges for writing worthless checks. Under Florida law, issuing a bad check can be prosecuted as either a misdemeanor or a felony. This depends on the amount of the check and the number of prior offenses. For a first offense involving a check of less than $150, it is typically charged as a misdemeanor. However, writing a bad check for $150 or more, or if you have a prior conviction for the same offense, it can become a third-degree felony.
Felony charges for writing bad checks in Florida can carry severe penalties. A conviction can land someone up to 5 years in prison and $5,000 in fines. A felony conviction also means losing certain civil rights like voting and can make finding employment difficult. Lastly, given the nature of the crime, restitution payments are often awarded to any and all plaintiffs in the case.
With so much at stake, do not delay in contacting a criminal defense attorney to defend your rights. We can evaluate the details of your case to determine the strongest defense strategy. At The Law Office of William B. Bennett, our goal is achieving the best possible outcome, whether through challenging unconstitutional actions, raising reasonable doubt about intent or negotiating alternative resolutions that avoid a felony conviction.
Legal Defenses to Fight Bad Check Charges
We have several effective legal defenses we can use to fight bad check charges in Florida. As criminal defense attorneys, our goal is to get the charges reduced or dismissed, and we will explore every option to achieve the best possible outcome for our clients.
One defense is to show that the defendant had no intent to defraud. Sometimes checks bounce by accident or due to an error. We can argue that our client had a good faith belief that the check would clear, and there was no deliberate attempt to deceive. Establishing a lack of criminal intent is one possible way to defeat a bad check charge.
Another defense is to challenge the validity of the charges. The State must prove certain elements to obtain a conviction, including that the check was written for the purpose of obtaining money or property. We scrutinize the details to ensure proper procedures were followed and the charges are supported factually. If the State cannot meet their burden of proof, the charges cannot stand.
As a last line of defense, we can negotiate with prosecutors to reduce the charges to a misdemeanor or civil offense in exchange for paying restitution and court costs. By avoiding a felony conviction, we limit the long-term consequences while still holding our client accountable.
With an aggressive criminal defense strategy, there are opportunities to challenge bad check charges in Florida. However, it all depends on the nature of the case. As a experienced St. Petersburg, Florida criminal defense firm, we know how to build a strong defense and fight for our clients facing these allegations. Putting the charges into context and mitigating the penalties are top priorities.
Why Hire A Bad Check Lawyer For Your Defense?
As a defendant facing bad check charges in Florida, hiring an experienced bad check lawyer for your defense is one of the smartest moves one can make. Legal counsel can help clients understand the seriousness of the charges and advise on the best way to proceed.
Defense attorneys are experts in Florida’s criminal justice system and bad check laws. They can evaluate the details of a case to determine if the charges are valid or if any legal defenses are available. For example, they may find that the check was postdated, or that the check writer was even a victim of fraud or identity theft. A lawyer can call into question the validity of the charges and in some cases, may be able to get the charges reduced or dropped altogether.
If the case proceeds to court, a criminal defense lawyer can negotiate with the prosecutor. This can possibly reduce the charges to a misdemeanor, or pursue a plea deal to avoid a trial. If a trial is necessary, a lawyer can help choose a jury favorable to the case. They may also cross-examine witnesses and present evidence and testimony to support the defense.
Without proper legal counsel, there is a risk of severe penalties like jail time, large fines or a felony conviction. Hiring a criminal defense lawyer gives us the best chance at avoiding these harsh consequences and resolving the charges in the most favorable outcome possible.
If You Have Been Arrested For A Bad Check, Call The Law Office Of William B. Bennett For Help Today
Check fraud can lead to serious criminal charges in Florida. However, there are legal defenses available. With the help of an experienced criminal defense lawyer, those accused of this financial crime may be able to avoid a conviction or have the charges reduced. Many have successfully fought these charges by obtaining experienced legal counsel. Call The Law Office of William B. Bennett today at (727) 821-8000 or contact us on our website here. Consultations are free and can help you understand the best way to navigate the charges.
Posted in: Criminal Defense Law