I am waiting for the status of criminal charges against an individual who gave me a closed account check for over $5000. The current charge is a felony bad check. I am in a dilemma whether I have to wait for the status of criminal charges before I can file a civil law suit to recover the entire money that he owes me? He owes me more than 4 times the amount on the bad check (closed account) .This case is NOT through check enforcement program. If I file civil lawsuit before criminal charges are active, would that affect their decision to prosecute? Thank you.
You do not have to wait. The civil process might take longer than the criminal one anyway. But, if you do wait and the person is convicted, you can use that conviction to your advantage. Additionally, you can get restitution ordered through the court.
The main issue to consider is whether the person is likely to do prison time. If so, you can only garnish a portion of prison wages which is literally pennies on the dollar.
Thank you for the questions and comments. No, you do not have to wait and if anything, the evidence you are unable to uncover in the civil suit could help local prosecutors.
When you say you are awaiting "status," have you been in contact with law enforcement? With prosecutors? The information you have you probably would want to share with counsel if you elect to hire an attorney.
Things to think about: 1) Did you have some sort of agreement with the offender? Was it in writing? Is this for the purchase of some good or service?
Many attorneys offer free consults on these matters. Call or email to schedule a no cost discussion.
Scott A. Mac Leod is licensed to practice law in Arizona. The information provided here is for educational purposes only and is not intended as legal advice for a particular matter. This response does not create any attorney-client relationship with the author. For specific advice about your particular situation, please consult an attorney. Scott is an active practitioner of FAMILY, CRIMINAL, CIVIL and bankruptcy law.
No, you don't have to wait, but know that civil claims can be stayed until the resolution of the criminal one.
The two are different. you can file a civil case. Make sure to keep track of the criminal case so you can ask the judge to order restitution. Make sure to have all your losses to the prosecutor and request to speak at court particularly at any sentencing so your position is before the judge.
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