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Making a Worthless Check and Obtaining Property with a Worthless Check



Understanding Worthless Checks and Property Fraud

In Florida, the issuance of a worthless check can lead to serious legal consequences, especially when it’s used to obtain property or services. This act, often seen as a form of white-collar crime, involves knowingly writing a check when there are insufficient funds in the account to cover the amount. The law aims to protect businesses and individuals from financial harm due to fraudulent transactions.

At Leppard Law, our seasoned team, led by Joe Easton and John Vallillo, brings over 60 years of combined criminal defense experience to the table. With a deep understanding of Florida’s legal nuances surrounding worthless checks, we’re committed to offering a personal touch and a strategic approach to each case. Our track record is backed by over 300 5-star Google reviews, showcasing our dedication to fighting hard for our clients.

What constitutes making a worthless check and obtaining property through such checks under Florida law? It’s an act where an individual issues a check knowing well that there are not enough funds in their account to cover the check’s amount, with the intent to defraud the recipient.

Understanding the legal framework is crucial for anyone facing such charges. Florida statutes outline specific criteria and penalties for these offenses, emphasizing the importance of intent and knowledge in determining guilt. Whether it’s a misunderstanding or a momentary lapse in financial judgment, the consequences can be severe, ranging from misdemeanor to felony charges based on the check’s amount and the circumstances surrounding the act.

Our approach at Leppard Law is not just about legal defense; it’s about understanding your situation and crafting a defense strategy that resonates with your unique circumstances. With innovative defense strategies and a commitment to excellence, our fully staffed office is ready to assist you through this challenging time. If you’re facing charges related to worthless checks in Florida, call us today to learn how we can help.

Understanding Worthless Checks and Property Fraud

It’s essential to act swiftly if you find yourself accused of issuing a worthless check. Early legal intervention can significantly impact the outcome of your case. Through strategic negotiation and thorough examination of the evidence, our team aims to mitigate the charges or seek dismissal whenever possible. Remember, a charge is not a conviction, and with the right defense, there’s always hope for a favorable resolution.

For more information on how we can assist with your case, or to learn more about forgery crimes and defense strategies based on lack of intent, visit our website or contact Leppard Law today.

Penalties for Worthless Check Offenses in Florida

Writing a check when you know there are insufficient funds in your account is a serious offense in Florida. The legal system does not take kindly to those who attempt to obtain property or services under false pretenses. The penalties for issuing a worthless check can range from minor fines to significant prison time, depending on the amount of the check and other circumstances surrounding the case.

Penalties for Worthless Check Offenses

From Misdemeanors to Felonies: A Range of Penalties

The state of Florida categorizes worthless check offenses into two main types based on the check amount:

  • For checks less than $150, the offense is considered a first-degree misdemeanor. Conviction can lead to penalties including up to one year in jail, fines, and mandatory restitution to the payee.
  • For checks valued at $150 or more, the charge escalates to a third-degree felony. This carries sterner consequences, including up to five years in prison, larger fines, and restitution.

Beyond these direct consequences, having a criminal record for a financial crime can severely impact your future, affecting everything from employment opportunities to your ability to secure loans or housing.

Did you know? The severity of penalties for writing a worthless check in Florida underscores the importance of managing your finances responsibly and seeking legal advice if you find yourself facing such allegations.

It’s also worth noting that the amount of the check isn’t the only factor that influences the severity of the penalties. Circumstances such as previous convictions, the number of worthless checks written, and the total harm caused can lead to enhanced penalties. In some cases, restitution to the victim is prioritized, and settling the owed amount can sometimes lead to reduced charges or penalties.

If you’re facing charges for issuing a worthless check in Florida, it’s crucial to understand the potential implications and explore all available defenses. At Leppard Law, our experienced white-collar crime defense attorneys are well-versed in navigating the complexities of these cases. We’re committed to providing a robust defense for our clients, exploring every avenue to minimize the impact of these charges on their lives. Contact us today at 407-476-4111 to schedule a consultation and learn how we can assist you in your defense.

Common Defenses Against Worthless Check Charges

Facing charges for making or obtaining property with a worthless check can feel overwhelming, but it’s important to remember that there are several defense strategies that may be available to you. Understanding these defenses can provide a beacon of hope and a potential pathway to a more favorable outcome in your case.

Exploring Defense Strategies: Knowledge, Post-Dating, and More

When it comes to defending against worthless check charges, the specifics of your situation can significantly influence the defense strategy. Here are some of the most common defenses:

  • Lack of Knowledge: The prosecution must prove that you knew there were insufficient funds at the time you issued the check. If you can demonstrate that you were unaware of the account’s status, this may serve as a viable defense.
  • Post-Dated Checks: If the check was post-dated, it indicates that the funds were not expected to be available until a future date. This can negate the assumption of intent to defraud.
  • Notice and Opportunity to Cure: Florida law may provide a window in which you can make good on the bounced check before criminal charges are pursued. Taking swift action to cover the check amount plus any applicable fees can sometimes prevent further legal action.
  • Bank Error: In rare cases, a bank error may cause a check to bounce. Providing evidence of such an error can exonerate you from wrongdoing.

Each of these defenses requires a nuanced understanding of both the law and the specifics of your case. Crafting a compelling defense strategy often involves gathering evidence, such as bank statements or correspondence, that supports your position.

What if you didn’t know your check would bounce? Not knowing the check would bounce is a common defense against charges of making a worthless check. This defense hinges on the absence of intent to defraud the recipient of the check.

It’s also important to consider the role of restitution in these cases. Proactively addressing the bounced check by repaying the owed amount can sometimes lead to a resolution without the need for criminal prosecution. This approach underscores the importance of taking immediate action and seeking legal advice as soon as you become aware of a potential issue.

At Leppard Law, our team of experienced defense attorneys understands the stress and uncertainty that come with facing charges related to worthless checks. We’re dedicated to exploring every possible defense and working tirelessly to protect your rights and interests. If you’re dealing with charges for making or obtaining property with a worthless check, don’t navigate this challenging situation alone. Call us today at 407-476-4111 for a consultation and learn more about how we can help you.


At Leppard Law, we understand that facing charges for making or obtaining property with a worthless check can be daunting. Led by Joe Easton and John Vallillo, our firm boasts over 60 years of combined criminal defense experience, offering a beacon of hope and a robust defense strategy for those ensnared by such charges in Florida. Our approach is not just about legal defense; it’s about restoring peace of mind and securing your future.

Leppard Law’s Innovative Defense Strategies

Our firm is renowned for its innovative defense strategies and commitment to excellence. We don’t just see a client; we see a person in need of guidance, support, and understanding. Here’s how we stand out:

  • Personal Touch: We believe in a client-centered approach, ensuring that you are heard, understood, and respected throughout the legal process.
  • Strategic Defense: Leveraging our extensive experience, including Joe Easton’s background as a former prosecutor and John Vallillo’s comprehensive defense experience, we craft strategies that are tailored to the nuances of your case.
  • Communication: Our firm prides itself on exceptional communication, ensuring you are informed and confident at every stage of your case.
  • Supportive Team: With a fully staffed office, including receptionists, paralegals, and support staff holding Juris Doctor degrees, we ensure that your case receives the attention it deserves.

Our commitment to you goes beyond the courtroom. We understand the stress and uncertainty that come with legal challenges, and we’re here to make this journey as smooth and successful as possible.

At Leppard Law, we turn challenges into opportunities for justice. Your case is our cause, and we fight tirelessly to protect your rights and interests.

Whether you’re dealing with a white-collar crime like making a worthless check or any other criminal charges, our team is equipped with the knowledge and resources to offer you the best possible defense. We understand the intricacies of Florida’s legal system and are committed to navigating it with you, every step of the way.

If you’re facing charges for making or obtaining property with a worthless check, it’s crucial to act swiftly and secure expert legal representation. Contact Leppard Law at 407-476-4111 today for a consultation. Let us put our expertise, dedication, and innovative defense strategies to work for you. Together, we can strive for a favorable outcome in your case.

Innovative Defense Strategies

Remember, facing criminal charges doesn’t have to mean facing them alone. With Leppard Law by your side, you have a team of experienced defense attorneys ready to defend your rights and guide you through the legal process with compassion and expertise. Don’t let the weight of these charges define your future. Reach out to us today and take the first step towards securing your peace of mind and protecting your rights.


Infographic depicting the words Making a Worthless Check and Obtaining Property with a Worthless Check

Frequently Asked Questions

What constitutes making a worthless check in Florida?

In Florida, making a worthless check occurs when someone issues a check knowing that there are not enough funds in their account to cover the amount, or the account is closed. This act is considered a form of fraud and can lead to criminal charges.

How can I defend myself against charges of obtaining property with a worthless check?

Defending against charges of obtaining property with a worthless check can include several strategies, such as proving lack of intent, demonstrating that you were unaware of insufficient funds, or showing that the recipient knew the check was not valid at the time of transaction.

What are the penalties for issuing a worthless check in Florida?

The penalties for issuing a worthless check in Florida can vary based on the amount of the check and other factors. For checks less than $150, it may be considered a first-degree misdemeanor, while amounts over $150 could be classified as a third-degree felony, potentially leading to prison time.

Can restitution affect the outcome of a worthless check case in Florida?

Yes, making restitution can significantly affect the outcome of a worthless check case in Florida. Repaying the owed amount can sometimes lead to reduced charges or may even result in the dismissal of charges, especially if restitution is made before formal charges are filed.

Exploring the complexities of white-collar crime requires a deep understanding of various related legal areas. Here are additional practice areas we serve, offering comprehensive legal support across a spectrum of white-collar and fraud-related charges in Florida.

Abuse of Public Position Crimes Prohibited Access to Stored Communications
Florida Anti-Tampering Act Bribery of a Public Servant
Criminal Investigations of Charities Computer Hacking
Deceptive Marketing Practices Economic Crimes
Embezzlement Environmental Crimes in Florida
Financial Exploitation of the Elderly Crimes of Extortion
Forgery Crimes Identity Theft Crimes in Florida
Federal Crime of Identity Theft Orlando Illegal Gambling Defense Lawyers

List of Top-Rated White Collar Crimes Attorneys Serving Florida

Choosing the right legal representation is pivotal for those facing white-collar crime charges. Our seasoned attorneys, committed to excellence, ensure you’re well-informed and supported throughout your case.

  • John Vallillo: Known for his strategic defense planning and a record of case dismissals, John Vallillo offers personalized legal representation grounded in extensive experience.
  • Joe Easton: Specializing in challenging evidence and securing favorable outcomes, Joe Easton’s commitment to justice is evident in his client-focused approach.
  • Joel Leppard: Joel Leppard combines innovative strategies with a personal commitment to each case, leading Leppard Law to become a top-rated criminal defense firm.

Discover What Our Clients Are Saying

Our dedication to excellence in white-collar crimes defense is evident in every case we undertake. The positive feedback from our clients is a testament to the hard work and dedication we consistently deliver.



Infographic depicting the words Making a Worthless Check and Obtaining Property with a Worthless Check

Take Control of Your Future Today with Leppard Law

Being charged with making a worthless check or obtaining property with a worthless check can feel like a daunting, uphill battle. But you don’t have to face it alone. At Leppard Law, we understand the stress and uncertainty that comes with these charges. That’s why we’re committed to offering not just legal expertise, but a personal relationship that puts your mind at ease. Our approach is simple: treat our clients like family, ensuring their rights are protected and their voices heard.

With over 60 years of combined criminal defense experience, our team, led by Joe Easton and John Vallillo, brings a wealth of knowledge and a proven track record of success to your defense. From our innovative strategies to our commitment to excellence, we’re dedicated to achieving the best possible outcome for your case.

Our accolades speak to our dedication and professionalism:

  • Named as one of “Top Personal Injury Lawyers in Orlando, FL” 2023 by Expertise
  • Highlighted among the “Top Personal Injury Attorneys near Sanford, FL” for 2023 by Thumbtack
  • Listed among the “Best Car Accident Lawyers in Sanford” from 2016-2023 by Expertise
  • #1 on Yelp’s list of “Best Lawyers in Orlando”
  • Ranked among the “Best Criminal Defense Lawyers in Orlando” by Expertise 2016-24

Our client-focused approach has earned us over 300 five-star Google reviews, a testament to our relentless pursuit of justice and unwavering support for our clients. We’re not just your attorneys; we’re your advocates, your confidants, and your team.

Don’t let a charge define your future. If you or a loved one are facing charges related to making a worthless check or obtaining property with a worthless check, take the first step towards reclaiming your peace of mind. Contact Leppard Law today at 407-476-4111 to schedule your free consultation. Experience the difference of having a dedicated, experienced team by your side. Your voice, our mission.

Legally Reviewed by Joe Easton

Expert Attorney

Legally reviewed by Joe Easton and the content team, this article reflects the firm’s 60 years of combined criminal defense expertise. Joe Easton, with his extensive experience and strategic prowess in DUI and criminal defense, offers more than just legal representation; he brings a commitment to turning legal challenges into victories. His approach, combining tenacity in the courtroom with personalized client care, ensures your case is not just defended but championed with dedication and expertise.

Learn More About Joe Easton