I owe some money to an individual and he wants to file theft charges

a friend of mine and I had a
conversation. he had some goods he
wanted help selling. I told him I
would. I have paid him partially for
the goods but still owe him money for
the rest and he is unhappy and wants to
file theft charges with the D.A’s
office where I live. I don’t have the
money to pay him right now. Will I be
arrested for this???…

Asked on June 4, 2018 under Criminal Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

It is unlikely that you would face criminal charges: criminal charges require criminal intent (basically an intent to steal) and the circumstances of you partially paying suggests not a criminal intent but rather a dispute over how much is owed and/or an inability on your part to pay. It is most likely that the authorities would consider this instead a "civil" matter, or one for a lawsuit. He can, of course, sue you for the money, such as in small claims court as his own attorney or "pro se"; if he sues you and win, by showing that you did not pay the full amount you should have paid, he could then send you to collections if you still do not pay (and you'll have a judgment against you on your credit report).

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

It is unlikely that you would face criminal charges: criminal charges require criminal intent (basically an intent to steal) and the circumstances of you partially paying suggests not a criminal intent but rather a dispute over how much is owed and/or an inability on your part to pay. It is most likely that the authorities would consider this instead a "civil" matter, or one for a lawsuit. He can, of course, sue you for the money, such as in small claims court as his own attorney or "pro se"; if he sues you and win, by showing that you did not pay the full amount you should have paid, he could then send you to collections if you still do not pay (and you'll have a judgment against you on your credit report).


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