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HI, I'm new here so please go easy on me. Basically, I screwed up w/ my banking at Christmas and don't know what to do. I bought something by personal check at a snooty store in Boston, didn't pay attention to if it cleared, and the check bounced. The next month when I got my bank statement, I realized and contacted the store. The lady at the store told me there was nothing I could do and my case would be forwarded to the courts. The check amount was under $250. Should I be expecting a warrant with my name on it? What can I do? Any input is greatly appreciated. I don't want something as foolish and careless as this to screw up my plan for a career in law enforcement.
 

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I'm assuming you didn't have overdraft protection on your checking account. This might be something to look into. My bank pulls funds from my credit card if for some reason I over draw my checking. As far as larceny by check, you obviously had no intent to defraud the store, and you had no knowledge of insufficient funds in your account, with no intent to steal, that would be a difficult case to prove. Something else to consider, I believe the larceny would be against the bank or depositary, no the actual store, but I could be wrong on that. Also, your bank is required to send you a letter, stating that you overdrew your account and should give you 2 days to make payment to the person or business holding the check, ie; the store in Boston. The fact of the bank sending you a letter of insufficient funds, and you not responding to it, then would show your intent to defraud. You may want to follow this up with your bank first, provided you have a good reputation with them, and they might be able to shed some more light on the subject. You may want to speak with the store owner (unless you already did) and see if you can make ammends that way. Again, I don't think a larceny by check charge would stand up here. Sorry I couldn't be of more help, I'm sure some more experienced officers could shed some more light on the subject.
 

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futurestar";p="58030 said:
HI, I'm new here so please go easy on me. Basically, I screwed up w/ my banking at Christmas and don't know what to do. I bought something by personal check at a snooty store in Boston, didn't pay attention to if it cleared, and the check bounced. The next month when I got my bank statement, I realized and contacted the store. The lady at the store told me there was nothing I could do and my case would be forwarded to the courts. The check amount was under $250. Should I be expecting a warrant with my name on it? What can I do? Any input is greatly appreciated. I don't want something as foolish and careless as this to screw up my plan for a career in law enforcement.
Futurestar, if the charge is larceny under $250 it's a misdemeanor. Due to some new court procedures recently implemented, the clerk magistrate or asst. clerk magistrate(s) have to determine probable cause before any charges go forth to arraignments, thats if a summons or hearing was requested by the police or complainant (company or private individual). Without you saying specifically, sounds like that is the case from the information in your post.

That being said, you should be scheduled for a show cause hearing to determine the probable cause on the charges. This is in front of the magistrate. Here is some simple advice for you: Get all your paperwork in order such as initial notices the check bounced, account statements proving when you put the money into the account to cover the check, and other pertinent documentation indicating you made an effort to correct the problem.

From what I have seen in hearings, whether the crime was inadvertent or not, proving you made good on the error/mistake has helped people. I have seen a few instances where the clerk will find probable cause, but dismiss the charges upon payment or if the payment has been made; therefore it does not go to arraignment in front of a judge and no criminal record. Let me remind to you, discretion may vary from court to court. If your serious about a career law enforcement you may elect to hire a lawyer for the hearing, just so the information of the alleged crime is argued correctly. Just my two cents. Hope it helps.
 

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As someone who used to do check collections, I thought I would chime in.

If your check bounced due to Non Sufficient Funds (NSF), the company or store is required to send a letter to you notifying you of the bad check, and then give you 5 days to make good on the check. After the five days, then they may apply for a Show-Cause hearing at the courthouse. For NSF checks, the court will not issue the application without the certified mail receipt / return receipt from the USPS, and will wait the 5 days.

If the check bounced because the check was drawn on a closed account (Account Closed), then the certifeid letter is not required, as intent is implied. The clerk-magistrate may issue the application immediately upon the retailers receipt of the bounced check.

I seriously doubt that you will have any warrants for a single NSF check. Your best bet is to speak with the retailer's manager or check collections/loss prevention department. Then make good on the check and pay whatever fees they may collect (usually $15-25 per check). Good luck!
 
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