Bad Check Procedure

10-Day Letter
After the Prosecuting Attorney's Office receives the Bad Check Statement of Facts, we send a warning letter to the bad check writer. The letter gives them 10 days to pay off the check without criminal charges being filed.

Many people accidentally bounce a check without any intent to commit a crime. The 10-day letter serves to separate a person who accidentally bounced the check from a criminal. Failure to make the check good within 10 days of the letter provides us with a legal presumption of the writer's intent to defraud.

Criminal Charges
If the bad check writer does not pay off the check and our processing fee within 10 days, we will file a criminal charge against the suspect and pursue the case as a criminal matter.

A person who writes a bad check over $500 or writes any check from a closed account faces a felony charge, carrying up to four years in prison and a $5,000 fine as the maximum punishment.

A person who writes a check under $500 faces a misdemeanor charge, carrying up to one year in the county jail and a $1,000 fine as the maximum punishment.

A group of checks written within a 10 day time frame may be aggregated to form the $500 amount necessary to charge a felony offense. Once we file a bad check charge, we ordinarily will not be willing to dismiss it unless it is a first offense, at which time this office may file a Nolle Prosequi upon full payment of costs and restitution by the defendant.

In some cases, bad check writers are sentenced to prison or the county jail. This is especially true for prior offenders, con artists, or defendants who have written bad checks totaling large amounts of money.

Often, particularly in cases involving a first offender, the defendant may be placed on probation. When a person is sentenced to probation, the judge has the power to order him or her to make restitution to the victim as a condition of probation.