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AlexiaEsq.
AlexiaEsq., Managing Attorney
Category: Criminal Law
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Experience:  19+ Years of Legal Practice in Criminal Law.
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i need help about 5 months ago i issued a check to a company

Customer Question

i need help about 5 months ago i issued a check to a company and it bounced now i was never informed from the company that it bounced and my checking account says it was paid and the next day it was returned but the money was there and now the company has turned it over to the da but a special section of the da called check enforcement the amount went up from 106 dollars to 338 dollars i want to pay the crediter in person and the check enforcement says i cant i am on a fixed income and they tell me i have to pay it all i have asked to make payments as i dont have that much with rent and utilities there isnt much left so i need to get payment arrangements made also i have attempted to make 2 full payments but i just cant afford it and a payment is due on the 3rd of the month is in jefferson county wisconsin i dont want to go to jail if there is an atty that can talk to the da and make payment arrangements for me i dont have much money but i will pay the atty what i can can someone help



thank you richard smulders
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  AlexiaEsq. replied 1 year ago.
Hi, thanks for your inquiry! I have been practicing Criminal law for 17+ years and have specific experience with issues like yours. That being said...

Have you been served with papers, i.e. such as a citation or charges? With a court date?

------

Please note that I have not yet answered your question. That is because this is one of those times where additional information is necessary or prudent. I have requested this additional information from you in order that a most thorough and accurate answer may be provided and I look forward to your response. In the meantime, I will be researching any related issues as necessary for that thorough answer, to ensure that there are no recent legal changes that could effect my answer, as well as drafting portions of the answer for you. Thus, if you don't see my response right away, after you provide your reply, please don't be concerned. Once I respond, you should be getting an email notification (or other) so you can come back and receive that answer. Thank you, and I look forward to assisting you. Note also that if there is an internet connection outage, or a site technical glitch, that can effect when I can post - but know that I will keep checking back to post the answer at the earliest possible time, even if that means the next day.



Repeat reminder: Due to rules of our states, nothing herein is intended as legal advice, only intended as general information in order that you may have a starting point for helping yourself and and better pursuing the details you need.



Customer: replied 1 year ago.


thank u for ur fast response no i have not been served papers or a citation does this have to be done first

Expert:  AlexiaEsq. replied 1 year ago.
Hi again, could you answer:

1. Is there a reason you can be sure it was the DA's office that called you?
2. What is the name of the DA covering your location?
3. Did you contact your bank to determine why it was returned, since you say the check was good, i.e. there was NOT insufficient funds.
4. Have you confirmed direct with the company who you wrote the check out to that it contacted the DA or the police?

Thanks!
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

 


i got a letter in the mail a couple of them letters it says check enforcement program this is not the da it is part of there office the letter head says jefferson county da susan happ is the da the check enforcement office told me that if i dont pay it this time it will go back to the da office


 


 


yes and at the time i talked to the bank they said they paid it,but i told the bank that it came back the bank said they reversed it as there were no funds but my bank paid it than they stoped it my statement shows that i can email u my statements


 


no i didnt contact the company i was told by check enforcement not to contact them they are handling it

Expert:  AlexiaEsq. replied 1 year ago.
Hi again, and thank you.

With regard to your post:

i got a letter in the mail a couple of them letters it says check enforcement program this is not the da it is part of there office the letter head says jefferson county da susan happ is the da the check enforcement office told me that if i dont pay it this time it will go back to the da officeOK, assuming this is truly the DA's check enforcement unit (did you confirm that where you send the checks is actually in that building, for instance?) - it sounds like you are in a diversion type program, possibly for first offense check bouncers. Now, bouncing a check is only illegal (criminal) if it was done purposely - i.e. when you issued that check you knew there were insufficient funds and it would bounce or if you DID have $200 on that day you wrote the check, but then knowingly depleted the account elsewhere....I presume you didn't deliberate defraud that company like that, but that you did'nt know at the time of the check writing that it would not clear when deposited. The only bad thing I see it that it probably doesn't help that when you saw the reversal and realized the money never actually got to the company, you did nothing to make it right - to make sure you paid them as promised. That may tend to make a DA suspect that was the plan - to not pay - which could suggest an intentional bad check writing......

 

This all being said... at worst, if you don't pay it as they desire and indicate and they DO put it back in line for prosecution, they have to PROVE you guilty. It takes weeks, usually, to get charged officially and have a first court date, and then months, usually, to get to trial, where they must prove all elements of the charge against you (including intent). Then, if convicted, if this is a first offense with an otherwise clean record, this misdemeanor technically CAN give a jail term, but usually the jails are left for non-first -offenders and more violent types. You will, have a fine, which will certainly be greater than the amount now, and likely restitution.

 

It would be a thought, to pay the creditor/company, with money order! And keep the full proof of receipt, and try to pay the Division you are dealing with, but I suspect that it will still want the $300+; (the extra is likely to offset the costs the state/county are incurring due to having to prosecute this check issue) but, when they prosecute, if you CAN'T pay all they want and can only pay the creditor, then at least when trial time comes, you can make sure to testify (or have creditor, who will likely be a witness) that you did pay him back, and while it may appear to be self-serving, and only done when you got caught and pursued, they can't then make you pay restitution again, at least not that part. You could suggest that because the DA's office division was not willing to let you make, say, 3 payments, 1 each month, since you are not the type of person to ever have $300 spare, but you were able to scrape up $106, you sent it to the creditor so he was made more whole (and send it with an apology letter, perhaps). In that regard, the court could see some good faith, come time for prosecution/sentencing, etc.

 

Ideally, of course, if you think you would get convicted or don't want the stress of fighting it legally (as innocent), if you can BORROW the money, I'd do that. Credit card, any friends/family? Or, if not, consider putting IT ahead of other bills so you can pay it tomorrow, then consider picking up a little job, temporarily if needed, to make up the loss, so you can then pay your rent come Feb. At least you have a few weeks time then, since this is apparently "due" tomorrow.



You indicate you attempted to make "2 full payment" - why 2?? Why not just pay what they want one time?

Lastly, remember that if you can't pay now, and they go ahead and pursue charges, you can still defend yourself AND pay the creditor in the meantime. If you lose, you will likely have bigger fines, etc., but by then perhaps you will have saved up for that. There are also diversion programs for first offenders once in the prosecutor's office, so you may escape an actual conviction, if that is a concern - but again, you will typically have costs and fines to pay - so either way, you need to prepare to pay up later.


I hope this helps! Let me know if you need follow up before or after RATING me. And PLEASE know that my job depends on a POSITIVE rating now and at least an 8-10 feedback rating later. Thanks! I won't forget your support.

Sincerely,

Alexia Esq.



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Repeat reminder: Due to rules of our states, nothing herein is intended as legal advice, only intended as general information in order that you may have a starting point for helping yourself and presenting your issue to your lawyer if need be. I am an Attorney in the U.S. but I am not your attorney.


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AlexiaEsq.
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11826 Satisfied Customers
19+ Years of Legal Practice in Criminal Law.