Can you seal or expunge an arrest related to a check fraud case in Florida? Maybe. Whether you can seal or expunge your Florida criminal record will depend on a variety of factors. As a Jacksonville criminal lawyer, the majority of fraudulent check cases that I have seen are charged as schemes to defraud. Another criminal charge that people often face when it comes to writing a bad check is a Florida worthless check charge. I will address both of these laws and whether or not these crimes can be seal or expunged in Florida.
The Section 817.034 of the Florida Statutes is the law that governs scheme to defraud in Florida. This Florida law states:
Any person who engages in a scheme to defraud and obtains property thereby is guilty of organized fraud, punishable as follows:
1. If the amount of property obtained has an aggregate value of $50,000 or more, the violator is guilty of a felony of the first degree….
2. If the amount of property obtained has an aggregate value of $20,000 or more, but less than $50,000, the violator is guilty of a felony of the second degree….
3. If the amount of property obtained has an aggregate value of less than $20,000, the violator is guilty of a felony of the third degree….
If you were arrested for scheme to defraud, you were arrested for a felony. The amount of the check in question will determine the degree of felony. You want to pay attention to how the case was charged and how your Jacksonville criminal attorney disposed of the case. For instance, imagine that you were arrested for scheme to defraud due to a fraudulent check. The charges were dropped. You may be able to expunge this arrest. Let’s change the facts. The state attorney filed the charges and you pleaded guilty or no contest. You need to look into whether or not you were adjudicated guilty of the crime. Are you a convicted felon based on this fraud charge? If so, you were adjudicated guilty. Any conviction on your record stop you from being able to seal your case.
Section 832.05 of the Florida Statutes is the law that applies to worthless check cases. This check law states:
It is unlawful for any person, firm, or corporation to draw, make, utter, issue, or deliver to another any check, draft, or other written order on any bank or depository, or to use a debit card, for the payment of money or its equivalent, knowing at the time of the drawing, making, uttering, issuing, or delivering such check or draft, or at the time of using such debit card, that the maker or drawer thereof has not sufficient funds on deposit in or credit with such bank or depository with which to pay the same on presentation; except that this section does not apply to any check when the payee or holder knows or has been expressly notified prior to the drawing or uttering of the check, or has reason to believe, that the drawer did not have on deposit or to the drawer’s credit with the drawee sufficient funds to ensure payment as aforesaid, nor does this section apply to any postdated check.
If the worthless check is in the amount of $150 or more, you may be arrested for a third degree felony. If it is for less than $150, it is a first degree misdemeanor. Will you be able to seal or expunge your worthless check arrest? This type of charge will not stop you from being eligible for a record seal or expunction, but the disposition of this case could inhibit you.
Expunge Scheme to Defraud or Worthless Check Arrest
Can you expunge your Florida criminal record? If the charges were dropped or dismissed, you may be able to expunge your bad check or fraud arrest. You need to look at the rest of your criminal record. Have you ever sealed or expunged a record before? Have your ever been convicted of a crime? If not, a Jacksonville criminal lawyer may be able to expunge your arrest record for you.
Seal Scheme to Defraud or Worthless Check Arrest
Can you seal your Florida criminal record? Even if the charges were not dropped, you may be able to seal your Florida criminal record. This is true even if you pleaded guilty to the charge. There are a list of crimes that cannot be sealed. Read Crimes that Cannot Be Sealed in Florida for the list. The good news is that neither scheme to defraud nor worthless check charges are on this list. The best news is that you still need to see whether or not you were convicted of the crime. If you pleaded guilty or no contest to the charge, the judge did one of two things. The judge either withheld adjudication or adjudicated you guilty of the offense. If it is the former, you may be able to seal your record. This is something that you should discuss with a Jacksonville lawyer. Call (904) 564-2525 to speak with an attorney about clearing your Florida record.