Can I be charged/arrested with a crime after a bad construction deal?

UPDATED: Jul 5, 2012

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Can I be charged/arrested with a crime after a bad construction deal?

I owned a construction company and went out of business. I had one outstanding client who gave me money down and I never did the job because of financial difficulties. Can I be charged with a crime and arrested ?

Asked on July 5, 2012 under Criminal Law, Washington


Kevin Bessant / Law Office of Kevin Bessant & Associates

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Typically a person is not penalized criminally for bad business deals unless those deals involved an element of fraud or false pretenses. The crime of False Pretenses is where you engage in a particular activity or business arrangement with another party with a fraudulent intent to mislead or defraud the person with a financial gain. Thus, if you knew that your business was closing, and entered into a contract or work agreement with a sole intent to get paid but not deliver on the services, then yes, you could be charged with the crime of False Pretenses in addition to other fraud charges as well.

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 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.

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