is a Bad Check Violation?
bad check violation occurs when a person gives another person or
business a bad check for an immediate exchange of goods or services.
conditions must be met to charge an individual with a bad check
immediate exchange of goods or services. A bounced check is not always a bad check violation. Bad checks for payments for rent, utilities, or car payments are not covered under the statute. Check with the District Court Commissioner to see if criminal charges can be initiated. If not, debtors must be pursued through
civil litigation in these instances.
check must have been refused for payment upon presentation
to the bank or institution on which it was drawn. The refusal
for payment must have been for insufficient funds, an account
that does not exist, is closed, or has a hold on it.
Bad Check Violation vs. Breach
If a customer gives you a check for an item and you agree to hold the check
until a certain date or for a few days, then you are, in effect, extending
credit to the customer. If the check is refused for payment after that time
period, you cannot charge the person with a bad check violation. Because the
exchange was not immediate, to recover the money owed to you, you must sue
the person in civil court for breach of contract.
When Can I Charge Someone With a Bad
This depends on the reason the check was refused for payment.
the check was refused due to insufficient funds, you must wait
ten (10) days from the date of the refusal to bring charges.
This gives the individual time to make good on their check.
the check was refused because the account does not exist, is
closed, or has a hold on it, you may file an application for
How do I file charges?
Complete an Application
for Statement of Charges for Bad Check (form DC/CR44). You
must appear in person at the commissioner’s station to do this because
the commissioner will take a sworn statement from you that the information
you provide is factual.
a photocopy of the bad check, information about the dishonored
check, a description of the goods or services the individual
received, and any information you have about the individual
who wrote the check (for example, the person’s driver’s
license number, date of birth and a physical description).
The commissioner cannot provide you with identifying information.
are no court costs or fees for filing an Application for Charges.
the trial, which will be held in the District Court. You are
required to personally attend the trial to testify as to the
facts of the case.
bring with you any identifying information about the defendant
that you may have. The defendant’s driver’s license
number, date of birth, and a physical description should be
recorded on the application.
You should accept payment for the bad check in cash, certified check, or a
money order, and give the debtor a receipt. If you accept another check
as payment on a bad check, it does not qualify as a bad check violation
if it bounces.
restitution is made to you and you do not wish to proceed with
criminal charges, you should notify the state’s attorney’s
office and provide the case number, defendant’s name
and address, and the date you filed the application for charges.
Tips to avoid accepting a bad check:
Before accepting a check for payment:
for a driver’s license as identification.
sure the name and address on the check match the identification.
sure the check contains a check number on the top and preprinted
Optical Character Reader numbers on the bottom.
the driver’s license number and birth date on the check.
the check is for a substantial amount, you may wish to call
the bank and ask for verification that there are sufficient
funds in the account to cover the amount of the check.
do I file?
with a District Court Commissioner. For address, click
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