If a signed check was given to me to fill out is it fraud?

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If a signed check was given to me to fill out is it fraud?

A few weeks ago I was given 2 checks on separate
days. They owner signed the check and had me fill
out the rest. One was for money that was owed and
services for cleaning and then the other was for
purchase of marijuana. As if Monday 6/3 he said he
didnt authorize the checks and went to the police.
He said I can be charged with felonies. Is this true? I
also have a witness that saw him hand me the
checks to fill out.

Asked on June 4, 2019 under Criminal Law, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

It would not be a crime IF he told you fill them out (which he evidently did, and which seems like you can prove) and if you filled them out for the 1) legal things (e.g. if buying the marijuana was, for you, legal, such if you have a valid medical marijuana card or prescription in your state), and 2) you filled them out for the agreed upon amounts (i.e. an amount he told you that you could charge him). That is because in these cases, you did not have criminal intent or mens rea, and a potentially criminal act is only a crime if there was a criminal intent. Rather, in this case you in good faith did what you reasonably believed you were authorized to do.
If you used the checks for anything illegal or took more money than he agreed you could take, however, that would be illegal: there is no right to purchase illegal drugs, whether you use your check or another person's; and no right to take more money from someone than they agreed to pay.


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