My previous job claims I stole a check, can they legally press charges?

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My previous job claims I stole a check, can they legally press charges?

Im 17 years old and I was recently training to work at a retail store. after about 3 weeks I was told that I didnt get the job but I was working long enough to recieve a check. I went to the store a couple days later, recieved the check and went about my business. I realized later that day that i had lost my wallet and couldnt cash it. I was around so i went back, had one of the managers take me to the liqour store to verify it was him who gave me the check and then had it cashed. A couple days later, I recieved messages on soial media stating that I owed $99 in cash because I took someone elses check and had to make up for the difference. I’m not in the position to pay it off given im jobless and I can’t understand how both me, my manager, and the man at the store couldnt have realized it wasnt mine or that there was a mistake. And i dont understand how they can claim that I

Asked on August 18, 2017 under Criminal Law, Georgia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

If you don't repay it now--or at least make a verifiable (e.g. in writing, sent some way you can prove delivery) offer to repay in a short time (e.g. $33/month for 3 months)--yes, you can be charged with theft. Even if you innocently cashed it in the first place, you now know it is not yours and therefore you have no right to the money: keeping something after you know you are not entitled to it is theft. If you repay, however, then it was a non-criminal error; similarly, if you make a very credible (under the circumstances) offer to repay in a reasonable time, you will also be showing that you did not have criminal intent, because you are doing your best to return the money. But if you simply keep it, you will have stolen it and could face charges. Borrow money from a friend or family if need be to repay--getting it paid back is the best way to resolve this issue.
 


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