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Can I be charged with forgery or fraud? If charges are filed against me, are the cops going to come and arrest me?

New York, NY |

I was illegally subletting an apartment. I never signed anything that said how long I would stay or what I would pay. When the landlord started to harrass me I decided to move out. I had just deposited a check into the girl who i was renting froms bank account that day. I moved out the same night after the management company had seen and harrassed me for the 3rd time. So, I moved out that night and the next day called my bank and cancelled the check. Now the girl is calling me saying she is going to press charges of fraud and forgery. But I never signed a lease or anything saying what I would pay. Can she really do this to me? Will it cost me less to just pay for the month I am not there than get a lawyer? Is there the possibility I would have to spend time in jail or court for this?

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Attorney answers 1


Given the facts here, it seems that you were harassed by the landlord and that the person who rented you the apartment did so illegally. That would negate a leg for her to stand on. Further, in order to have Fraud or Forgery, you would have to intend fraud, or sign papers in someone elses name.

It would be a weak case, but you can actually sue her for fraud if she told you she had the right to sublet the apartment. Cancelling the check was not illegal as you did not receive the consideration that you expected for the money you paid. You are mitigating your damage.

While nothing takes the place of advice you receive from a lawyer of your own, and while the comments above do not constitute legal advice, I think you can sleep easy. If there is a problem, say nothing to anyone, and contact a lawyer immediately.