If I wrote a pay day loan check and defaulted, will I be arrested?

Asked on June 6, 2012 under Bankruptcy Law, Nevada


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Criminal liability depends on having criminal intention or state of mind, called mens rea. So: if you write a bad check knowing that you don't have the money to pay it or intending to default, that could be a criminal act. If you wrote a check you thought was good, but had less money than you thought because a check to you bounced, or some electronic debit came through earlier than you thought it would, that would not be criminal--though you could still be sued in civil court for the money you owe.

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