Need help in making a bad check good legally honestly before legal action is taken against me

I have written two checks with insufficient funds as I was counting on an inheritance

check to arrive any day. But now I have learned it may not arrive for a while yet and my

account was already in the negative to begin with Very poor judgement on my behalf I

admit and now I’m worried beyond belief Please tell me how to handle this in an

appropriate manner Thank You

Asked on May 11, 2016 under Criminal Law, Alabama


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Contact the people cashing, depositing, etc. the checks. Explain the situation to them and ask that they show patience; if necessary, offer to execute a promissory note or other payment agreement, or try to come to a payment plan you can make. Also, if you can make any partial payment, do so. You can't avoid civil liability (e.g. being sued for the money) if you owe money and don't pay it--though the person you owe money to could voluntarily agree to enter into a payment plan or otherwise give you time to pay. But what you want to do is to avoid criminal liability (being charged) for passing bad checks. Criminal liability is based on having a criminal intent; therefore, you want to demonstrate that this was just an error of judgment and show that you are doing eveything you can to pay, in order to show that you did not have criminal intent.

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