If I bounced a check due to insufficient funds andit is my first offense, what can happen to me?

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If I bounced a check due to insufficient funds andit is my first offense, what can happen to me?

I just bought a car and  traded in my old one that was worth $7,000. I wrote a check for $2,000 thinking that I had the money in my account. I received a phone call from the dealer today saying that if I don’t bring him the cash today he is taking my check to the prosecutor. I looked up the law and it says that I must receive notification via mail and have from 10 to 30 days to pay, depending if they are taking civil or criminal actions. Is this true?

Asked on August 7, 2010 under Criminal Law, Missouri

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The Missouri Bad Check law is section 570.123 of the Missouri Revised Statutes.  A reading of the statute does indeed confirm what you have written: that you must have written notice of a demand for payment and payment must be made within 30 days.  This 30 day notice is required in order to pursue the civil side of the statute, and to collect fees in addition to the penalties.  A party may elect to go pursue the criminal side of the statute under 570.120 and must then give you 10 days written notice to pay or you could be prosecuted for a misdemeanor. But I would not just sit back and relax.  When he goes to the prosecutor they will advise him of the notice requirement and then you have prolonged the inevitable by a few short weeks. Call the dealer and "make a deal" as to payment.  Good luck.


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