BANKRUPTCY AND BAD CHECKS
Bankruptcy never protects you from a criminal act. The rule is and always has been that bankruptcy is for honest, but unfortunate, persons and not for cheats or criminals. For that reason, you do not see people who have committed crimes filing for bankruptcy. The real problem is determining what is a criminal act and what is not a criminal act.
A common question that comes to my office is that a check is written, it bounced and now a creditor is threatening to have you arrested. There are a lot of rules that must be complied with before you can be arrested for a criminal bad check. South Carolina law does not make having a check not being paid when presented a criminal act.
The law of criminal bad checks is found in Section 34-11- et. Seq. A criminal bad check must be given with a reasonable belief that there are funds in the bank to cover the check when it is written. A post-dated check is not a criminal bad check. A check given to a check cashing lender will not result in a criminal charge if the check does not clear when it is time to cash the check. A check that is sent for payment on account that does not clear is never a criminal bad check. I am not addressing the law of writing a check on an account that was closed when you wrote the check.
The fact is that people do, in fact, get arrested for writing a bounced check even if it does constitute a criminal bad check. Just because you are not guilty of a criminal act does not keep the creditor from taking the check to a magistrate. There are a huge number of checks coming through the system and most of them are criminal bad checks. Sometimes a non-criminal bounced check sneaks through and the check writer may even be arrested.
That does not mean that you are guilty of a crime. However, you probably will not feel good when you are waiting to tell your story to a magistrate.
A creditor who has you improperly arrested can be sued and you can recover damages for those actions.