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Barrister
Barrister, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 34872
Experience:  16 yrs practice, Civil, Criminal, Domestic, Realtor, Landlord 26 yrs
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Sir, I contacted a man in Texas about buying his car. He

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Sir,

I contacted a man in Texas about buying his car. He did not have the keys available and hence I was not even able to open a door, hood or trunk to inspect the car. Never mind starting the engine. I was interested in leaving a deposit with him in anticipation that the car would be inspected by a qualified car dealer. he stated that he would, at my expense, have the car available at his dealership and we could proceed with the P & S. I wrote a check for $ 2,000.00 as a deposit to hold the car until such time as we could perform the inspection. I went to the trouble of renting a storage garage and made inquiries about insuring the car. I called the Owner to enquire when we could have the car inspected and to make sure he would return the deposit if the car did not check out. His wife stated that the check would not be returned whatever the outcome of the inspection as in his eyes I had bought the car.

I stopped payment on the check, there is an ample amount of funds in the bank to cover this check. I have not received any goods or services nor do I have a contract with him to buy this car.

My question is what is the effect of this on me as he has stated he is bringing this to a County DA in Texas?

Thanks for any comments!

Joe
Hello and thank you for using JA! My goal is to provide you with excellent service and help with your legal problem.
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If there were enough funds in the account to cover the check and you have not actually taken possession of the car, there is no way in the world that a DA would file any type of criminal charge for a hot check. This is because it requires an intent to defraud as evidenced by there not being adequate funds in the account or a check being written on a closed account. Further, the seller must have some type of specific damages due to the buyer's actions.
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At best this is a civil case that I believe he would lose as well since the deposit was placed to merely hold the vehicle and any sale was contingent on an inspection.
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Thanks.

Barrister

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If you need further help, just reply to me via the “REPLY” button and I will be happy to continue.

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I cannot enter into an attorney client relationship, this is a public forum, and all posts are available for public viewing. There is no duty of confidentiality that attaches to any posts. The information provided is not a substitute for a local attorney’s legal advice.

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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Your advice seems right on the money. Furthermore I replied to him that I was not closing the door on the future purchase of the car as I had rented storage space and have now the ability to have insurance binder for the car. I think he is hung up on the idea that you just buy a car without an inspection. I just did not want to be exposed to a non-return of my deposit should the car prove faulty and a V-12 JAGUAR can be all of that. The purchase price of the car ($12K) is something I could easily cover as I have over $ 80K in my account.


He stated that he is bringing this to the Harris County DA; should I also engage an attorney?


 


Thanks,


 


Joe

He stated that he is bringing this to the Harris County DA; should I also engage an attorney?

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No, that would be a waste of money at this point. Having dealt with DAs for over 13 years, I can tell you that unless he is a personal fishing buddy of the DA, they aren't going to file any type of criminal charge. The elements of the crime under TX law are:

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Texas Penal Code § 32.41. ISSUANCE OF BAD CHECK. (a) A person commits an offense if he issues or passes a check or similar sight order for the payment of money knowing that the issuer does not have sufficient funds in or on deposit with the bank or other drawee for the payment in full of the check or order as well as all other checks or orders outstanding at the time of issuance.

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So the elements simply aren't here. He is just trying to bluff you into buying a car without an inspection, which is always an incredibly bad idea.

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Thanks

Barrister

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Barrister and 2 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you

Thanks so much for the positive rating and generous bonus, it is very much appreciated!

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It was my pleasure to work with you and help with your question. Please feel free to ask for me if you need help with anything in the future and I will do my level best to help or get you to someone who can.

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Barrister