I am being charged with check fraud. Is my situation actually considered fraud?

I wrote a check for a security deposit. After a month, I noticed the
landlord had not cashed it. I contacted her and she stated that she
had misplaced it so I tell her I was going to put a stop payment on
it. Then I guess she finds it and decides to try to cash it. The
thing is I am being charged with attempt to defraud by check. My
understanding is that I can only be charged with this crime if when I
wrote the check I knew that I did not have the funds or that when I
put a stop payment I knew I did not have the funds. I can prove that
in both instances there was plenty of money in the account to cover
the check.

Asked on June 26, 2016 under Criminal Law, Florida


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Being charged and being ultimately convicted are two very different things. To charge you, all that is necessary is that there be some reasonable grounds or reason--without you having the ability to put forward a defense--to think you committed the crime. But to be convicted, it must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt that you committed all elements of the crime and had  the necessary criminal intent--and you will have the chance to put on a defense and present your own evidence and testimony. Based on what you write, it is very unlikely that you could be convicted, and you may well be able to get the matter dismissed--but it's not that surprising that you would initially be charged, due to the lower standard for doing so and the inability, at that stage, for you to present a defense.

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