Filing Bad Checks
The check must be presented to the bank within 30 days from the date of issuance. It must be stamped or flagged by the bank as not good for reasons NSF, NO ACCOUNT, or ACCOUNT CLOSED. Postdated checks, stop payment, funds held, etc., will not be accepted as criminal cases, but you may sue in Civil Court.
If the check is returned for Insufficient Funds, send a 10 Day Demand Letter First Class U.S. Mail to the check writer. The letter must identify the check and state why it was returned by the bank. And, give the writer 10 days to pick it up and state that a criminal complaint will be filed if not paid. Wait 15 days from the date of mailing the letter and on the 16th day you may file a complaint. The law only requires the letter be mailed, if they refuse it or have moved leaving no forwarding address, a complaint may still be filed. If the check is returned for Account Closed, no letter is required and it may be filed immediately.
You must file the Affidavit of Service and the Worthless Check Affidavit along with the original check or the Legal Copy of the check. (The Original Check or the Bank Substitute Legal Copy Must Accompany the Affidavit.) You should have a good address, race, sex, DOB (date of birth), and Driver’s License Number before filing a complaint. If we do not have this information we cannot be as effective in collection. Law enforcement officers normally will not make an arrest without good identification on the person.
If restitution is made to this office, you will be required to sign for it. Upon payment of restitution and fine, our office will recall the warrant. The law provides for adding a check charge in these criminal cases. The amount charged cannot exceed the amount which is posted in the place of business. The maximum check fee which may be charged is $30.00.
Once you have filed the Worthless Check with the Court, you should advise the check writer to contact the Court if they attempt to pay restitution to you. DO NOT ACCEPT RESTITUTION FROM THE CHECK WRITER IF YOU HAVE ALREADY FILED THE WORTHLESS CHECK WITH THE COURT or refuse to testify if the defendant pleads not guilty. If you do either of these, we may not accept any future bad checks from you or your business.
We will accept complaints against a defendant who resides outside of Denton County, providing the check was delivered in the precinct, but our effectiveness in collection is reduced.