Hot Checks Division
Mission of the Hot Checks Division
The mission of the Hot Checks Division is to investigate, prosecute, and collect monies from hot check writers in order to reimburse their victims. The Hot Checks Division is one of the few divisions at the District Attorney’s Office that is able to take reports of criminal conduct directly from the victim of the crime. There is no cost to the victim to submit checks to the District Attorney’s Office for prosecution and collection.
When to Submit a Hot Check
- An individual or business, writes a check and that check is returned by the bank as either "Insufficient Funds” (NSF) or “Account Closed.”
- The check was given in exchange for goods, services or cash.
- You or a staff member can identify the check writer.
- The check must be presented to the bank for payment or deposit within thirty (30) days of its date of issuance.
- The check must be stamped with the reason for the bank’s refusal to accept the check.
- The merchant must send written notification to the check writer informing check writer of the returned check (download Merchant's Notice pdf / download Merchant's Notice Word document). Left-click your mouse on the document form of your choice. You may also save the files to your computer by right-clicking the link and selecting the "Save As" option.
- The written notice must be sent by certified mail or First Class Mail to preserve the presumption of intent for prosecution. If the notice is sent via First Class Mail, then the merchant must also provide our office with a copy of the letter and an Affidavit of Service. You may download the Affidavit of Service form by clicking here (download Affidavit of Service PDF file, requires Adobe Reader) or fill one out at the Criminal District Attorney's Hot Check Section located inside the courthouse in Edinburg.
- However, if the check is returned and marked as “Account Closed,” there is no need to send notice.
What to Bring to the DA’s Office
- The original check as stamped by the bank, or a legible certified photocopy (of both the front and back) from the bank in lieu of the original.
- The signed return receipt from the certified letter, or the unopened unaccepted letter.
- A copy of the letter sent to the check writer which should include the name, address, phone number, and any other identifying information on the check writer.
In some instances, you may be required to provide a narrative affidavit of the events surrounding the transaction made on the tendered check or checks.
Once you have submitted a check to our office and we determine that it meets the above criteria, we will enter the check into our system and proceed to inform the check writer that we are proceeding with a case on the check. Once the DA’s Office has accepted the check, do not attempt to collect on it. If a check writer makes a partial payment, the check will be returned to you by our office and will not be accepted again.
Checks the District Attorney’s Office Cannot Accept
- A check passed outside of Hidalgo County.
- A check more than two (2) years old if it is under $1,500. If the check is over $1,500, it cannot be more than five (5) years old.
- A check that has not been submitted to the bank within thirty (30) days or is not marked by the bank as “NSF” or “Account Closed.”
- A check where partial payment on the worthless check has been made.
- A check given for payment on account.
- A check given for a returned check.
- A check that is lacking identifying information on the check writer. such as their driver’s license number, address, or telephone number.
Texas Penal Code §31.03 Theft
Texas Penal Code §31.04 Theft of Service
Texas Penal Code §31.06 Presumption of Theft by Check
Texas Penal Code §32.41 Issuance of Bad Check
For further information, please contact our office at: (956) 318-2310.