The state attorney’s office has announced new procedures on how Jacksonville, Clay County, and Nassau County will be dealing with worthless check cases. The new procedure requires merchants in Florida who want to prosecute someone for a bad check to have a photo of the alleged check writer or a copy of his or her driver’s license. If they don’t have these items, a criminal check case will not be opened in Jacksonville.
Before the change, the only thing people who claimed they were written a bad check had to produce was the check. After a period of time, a criminal charge was filed and a capias (bench warrant) was issued for the check writer’s arrest. In order to convict someone of writing a worthless check, the state attorney must prove several things. They are:
1. The defendant drew, made, uttered, issued, or delivered the check.
2. When the defendant did so, there was not enough money in the bank to pay the check.
3. The defendant knew when he or she wrote the check that there was not sufficient money in the bank.
4. The defendant knew he or she had no arrangement or understanding with the bank for hte payment of the check.
There are some defenses to a worthless check charge in Florida even if all of the above elements are proved. They are:
1. The payee knew that the defendant lacked the funds when they deposited or cashed the check.
2. The payee should have known (good reason to know) that the defendant didn’t have the money in the bank.
3. The check was post-dated.