Legal Question in Criminal Law in Wisconsin

Stop payment rules

my car was taken to a service station by my daughter for an estimate of repairs needed. she told the owner that he should call when the estimate was done and let her know what it would cost to repair. instead of giving a estimate he ordered parts and replaced a front axle. when my daughter called to find out when she could pick up the car, a demand for payment for repairs was made. i called the owner of the garage and again explained that she only wanted an estimate not a repair as she had to save up for any repair the car needed or dispose of the car if it was too expensive to fix. to make a long story short, the only way he would release the car was for payment of parts and labor. i paid, got the car, and sought legal advice. every one i talked to said to stop payment on the check and sue for damages if threated with legal action by him. well, he is filing charges with the da citing theft by fraud by me for stoping payment on the check. the police say there is no legal basis for stopping payment for any reason short of ransom payment and whether or not the repairs were legal or not i can be charged with theft by fraud by stopping payment on the check. must i pay and then sue, or can i show that he was holding my car ransom for payment of a bogus claim and was within my rights to stop payment? thank you for your time in this matter.

Asked on 11/01/97, 6:15 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Jes Beard Jes Beard, Attorney at Law

Stop payment rules

The law will vary from state to state, and even if the law would not allow a conviction in your state... you might still end up forced to hire an attorney to defend the case in court if a warrant is issued for your arrest.Talk with a criminal defense attorney now to save yourself grief later. A criminal defense attorney in your state would know the answer, and possible speak with you initially for free.... because if you DO get charged, the attorney would hope you would come back to him/her to defend you.

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Answered on 11/07/97, 10:49 pm

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