Can someone press charges for a check that was stopped because of insufficient funds?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Can someone press charges for a check that was stopped because of insufficient funds?

I gave a friend a post dated check because I anticipated a deposit into the bank account later that week and she was behind on her rent and needed help. After finding out that the deposit was not made, I stopped the check so it wouldn’t withdraw “imaginary” funds and charge a hefty overdraft fee. Now her apartment complex is saying that they are going to press charges on the account holders for a “hot” check because when they tried to cash the check they found out that it was stopped. Can they press charges on me when I am not the person responsible for the rent in the first place?

Asked on May 24, 2011 under Criminal Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

1) Facing criminal liability for passing a bad check has nothing to do with whether you are on the lease, were responsible for the rent, etc.--all that matters is that a bad check was passed.

2) Technically, being charged with passing a bad check requires more than insufficient funds to honor the check; it also takes some degree of criminal intent. However, that intent can be inferred from circumstances. In a case like this, if you knew you had to stop a check you had just issued, the correct thing to do would have been to call the recipient of the check, give them a heads up as to the situation, and also discuss when they would be paid. By simply allowing them to get and try to cash a check which you knew was bad, you have created a situation where it may be reasonable to assume that you deliberately passed a check which you knew would be dishonored.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption