Can I prosecute criminally someone for writing checks that put stop payments on?

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Can I prosecute criminally someone for writing checks that put stop payments on?

This guy wrote me $4000 in checks and put stop payments on them. I filed a small claims and won. He moved away. I want to prosecute him criminally. The detective told me that since i did it civilly they cannot also a do it criminally.

Asked on August 4, 2010 under Criminal Law, North Carolina

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

First, YOU do not prosecute anyone criminally; the state does. You can certainly file a complaint against someone or press charges; you can also be a witness against them; but ultimately, it is the state (through the prosecutors office) that decides to prosecute or not, and the state which is a party to and brings the action.

Second, the criminal and civil legal systems have essentially no bearing on each other in this regards. Someone can be sued without prosecuting for a crime; or prosecuted without being sued; or both sued and prosected. Different systems, different parties at issue, different purposes.

Either you misheard/misunderstood the detective, or he misunderstands the law (unlikely)--or this detective doesn't think there's a case, doesn't want to pursue it, or feels you already have  justice via small claims.


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