(1) In any judicial circuit where a bad check diversion program is not in existence as of October 1, 1986, the state attorney may establish such a program, either within the state attorney’s office or through an independent contractor, for the purpose of diverting from prosecution certain persons accused of a violation of s. 832.04, s. 832.041, s. 832.05, or s. 832.06. The use of such a diversion program shall not affect the authority of the state attorney to prosecute any person for any such violation.
(2) Upon receipt of a complaint alleging any such violation, the state attorney shall determine if the case is appropriate for referral to the bad check diversion program by considering:
(a) The amount of the bad check.
Terms Used In Florida Statutes 832.08
- Complaint: A written statement by the plaintiff stating the wrongs allegedly committed by the defendant.
- Defendant: In a civil suit, the person complained against; in a criminal case, the person accused of the crime.
- Evidence: Information presented in testimony or in documents that is used to persuade the fact finder (judge or jury) to decide the case for one side or the other.
- person: includes individuals, children, firms, associations, joint adventures, partnerships, estates, trusts, business trusts, syndicates, fiduciaries, corporations, and all other groups or combinations. See Florida Statutes 1.01
- Prosecute: To charge someone with a crime. A prosecutor tries a criminal case on behalf of the government.
- Restitution: The court-ordered payment of money by the defendant to the victim for damages caused by the criminal action.
- Trial: A hearing that takes place when the defendant pleads "not guilty" and witnesses are required to come to court to give evidence.
(b) The prior criminal record of the defendant.
(c) Whether or not there are other bad check complaints currently pending against the defendant.
(d) The strength of the evidence of intent to defraud the victim.
(3) Upon referral of a complaint to the bad check diversion program, the state attorney shall forward a notice of the complaint by mail to the defendant. The notice shall contain all of the following:
(a) The date and amount of the check.
(b) The name of the payee.
(c) The date before which the defendant must contact the bad check office concerning the complaint.
(d) A statement of the penalty for issuance of a bad check.
(4) If the state attorney allows the defendant to enter into a diversion program, the state attorney shall enter into a written agreement with the defendant to divert him or her on bad check charges. The diversion agreement shall include all of the following conditions, which must be accepted by the defendant:
(a) Attendance at a program designed to assist and educate persons who have violated the provisions of this chapter.
(b) Full restitution on the check.
(c) Full payment of fees due under subsection (5).
(d) Any individual who does not fulfill the agreements for diversion could then be prosecuted under the appropriate section.
(e) A knowing and intelligent waiver of the defendant’s right to a speedy trial for the period of his or her diversion.
(5) To fund the diversion program, the state attorney may collect a fee on each check that is collected through the state attorney’s office, whether it is collected through prosecution or through the diversion program. Funds collected under this subsection shall be deposited in the State Attorneys Revenue Trust Fund. However, the state attorney may not collect such a fee on any check collected through a diversion program which was in existence in another office prior to October 1, 1986. A fee may be collected by an office operating such a preexisting diversion program for the purpose of funding such program. The amount of the fee for each check shall not exceed:
(a) Twenty-five dollars, if the face value does not exceed $50.
(b) Thirty dollars, if the face value is more than $50 but does not exceed $300.
(c) Forty dollars, if the face value is more than $300.