stopped payment on check

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stopped payment on check

Hi, I bought this pig from a lady for 300.00, I paid her 150.00 in cash and then 150.00 by a post dated check, when I got the pig home he was not what she said about him. he turned out to be on the mean side, so I called the lady back and asked her to take him back bc of this and she said no, So I stopped payment on the check, and she is very mad of course, She said she has turned it over to the sheiffs department, I live in upstate ny, and I need to know if I can go to jail over this? thank you

Asked on December 2, 2016 under Criminal Law, New York

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Technically, if you had sufficient funds to cover the check *when you issued* it, but only stopped it, as you indicate, due to a dispute over a purchase, that is not a crime (though it certainly is something you could be sued over--if the agreement of sale did not include some right to a refund, the seller could sue you for the remaining money with a reasonable chance of winning). 
The problem for you is that it was a post-dated check: when a post-dated check is cancelled, there is often a presumption that it was issued in the first place due to inadequate funds at that time--under the law, you *must* have adequate funds to cover the check when you issue the check; you may not issue a post-dated check which lacks funds. Therefore, if in fact it was the case that you lacked adequate funds when you issued the check, that was in fact a crime and you could face criminal sanctions.


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