If I wrote a bad check and will cover it within the next few days, will I get into trouble?

UPDATED: Nov 17, 2010

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If I wrote a bad check and will cover it within the next few days, will I get into trouble?

It was for less than $100. I was supposed to get paid to cover the check but something happened and the check was returned to the grocery store. I got charged a fee from the bank but can I get in trouble over this?

Asked on November 17, 2010 under Criminal Law, Georgia


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

If by "trouble" you mean criminally, technically yes you could have problems.  However, the reality is that the store will probably just notify you that the check was returned and ask you to come in and pay in cash or money order (plus a bounced check charge).  Once you do this the matter will end.  If you do not make good on what you owe, then the store will proceed on this most likely as a civil matter. This means that they can sue you in small claims, put a collection agency after you, and/or ruin your credit.  They will also notify one of the major check clearing systems so that you will probably be unable to cash checsk in the future (other than at your bank).   And again, there is the potential for a criminal charge. To make your life simple, take care of this ASAP.  For such a small sum its not worth all of the "trouble" not paying will cause you.

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