Goal of the Red River Parish District Attorney’s Hot Checks Division
Our goal is to assist in the collection of monies owed merchants from patrons issuing worthless checks in the course of business. Please read the Policy & Procedures to help in the prosecution of these individuals. It is our desire that this information will assist you in reclaiming these amounts. If you have a question about any part of these instructions, please contact our office at (318) 932-4035, extension 2 or email Rose Wiltcher at firstname.lastname@example.org.
District Attorney’s Hot Check Policy/Procedures
- In order for our office to be able to assist with the collection of such checks, you must obtain the needed information on the check passer. This data includes driver’s license or identification numbers, date of birth, physical home address, home phone number, place of employment and work number.
- The holder of the check must present the check to the named bank for payment.
- The bank, upon returning a “worthless check”, will stamp the check or attach a bank flag stating the reason the check has been dishonored. The bank flag must be left attached to the check if the check itself is not stamped.
- The Holder of the returned check must mail a 10-day written notice to the check writer (person signing the check) informing him/her that the check was not honored by the bank, listing the reason as noted on the check, requesting payment in full. The notice must be dated and must state that the maker has ten (10) days from the date of the notice to make restitution. The notice must be mailed by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested. Even when holder does not have a valid address on the check passer, service must still be attempted by mailing the notice to the address on the check. A copy of the notice should be made and retained by the holder.
If the maker does not pay or honor the check within the ten (10) days after service of the notice, the check may be presented to the District Attorney’s Office, along with the following information:
- ORIGINAL CHECK (The bank must stamp the check, or have an attached bank flag, showing proof the check was not honored.)
- ORIGINAL SIGNED POSTAL RETURN RECEIPT OR UNCLAIMED LETTER (UNOPENED)
- COPY OF THE 10-DAY NOTICE
Once a check has been turned over to the District Attorney, you must not accept payment on the check from the person who wrote the check. They should instead be referred to the District Attorney’s Office for collection on the check. If you or an employee should accept payment on the check, you will be responsible for the statutory fee imposed by the District Attorney’s Office for that check.
Under Louisiana law, the District Attorney’s Office does not file a criminal complaint for Worthless Checks on checks that are:
• Post-dated, undated, “hold” or “stop payment” checks.
• Two-party checks or payroll checks.
• Checks for which partial payment has been received.
• Checks more than one (1) year old.
• A check for less than $5.00.
• A check given in exchange for another returned check.
• Checks not presented to the bank within ten days from the date of the check.
• Checks in which the ten-day notice was not sent to maker by certified or registered mail.
Check records in the District Attorney’s Office are kept according to the name of the person who actually signed the check, regardless of the name or names imprinted on the check.
The Worthless Check Division of the Red River Parish District Attorney’s Office will diligently attempt to collect on all acceptable checks submitted for collection. We collect the face amount of the check plus a $25.00 service charge for the complainant.
Recommended Guidelines for Businesses Accepting/Cashing Checks
1) Establish a firm policy regarding requirements for check cashing and accepting checks for payment of merchandise and/or services rendered.
2) Require a valid check with all items of information legibly filled in, including the complete date (same as the date the check was written), check amount correctly expressed in numerals and words, the maker’s address, telephone number, driver’s license number, date of birth, place of employment and work number. Post Office Box numbers must be accompanied by maker’s physical address.
3) Require the check to be signed in the presence of the employee accepting the check. Require the employee to initial the check after acceptance.
4) Require proper identification. A Louisiana driver’s license or state-issued picture identification card is preferred. Compare the photograph or description on the identification to the person passing the check, and compare the signature on the identification to that on the check. BE SURE ALL INDENTIFICATION INFORMATION IS CURRENT AND CORRECT. If the person presenting the check refuses to give identification, or there is insufficient identifying information, do not accept or cash the check.
5) The employee accepting the check should record all identification numbers on the check itself, even if said numbers are already printed on the check. Employees should place their initials on the check when accepting it.
6) When accepting business checks, be sure the signature on the check is legible. Check identification of the person passing the check (including home address and telephone number) and record this information on the check.
7) Do not accept an undated, post-dated check or pre-dated check. Never accept a check and tell the person that you will hold it for a few days. These types of checks cannot be criminally prosecuted.
8) Call the bank or check other reference sources when in doubt about the validity of a check.
9) Never hold a check for over ten (10) days before presenting it to the bank for payment. When the bank returns the check, take immediate action.
Frequently Asked Questions
I wrote a worthless check and received a 10-day notice from the merchant to which the check was written. I then received a 10-day notice from the DA’s office. Who do I pay?
Once the check has been turned over to the DA’s office for prosecution, all subsequent actions pertaining to said check are to be processed through the DA’s office. DO NOT pay the merchant directly.
I received a 10-day letter from the DA’s office. How long do I have to pay before a warrant is issued?
You have 10 days to make payment from the date the letter was written before a warrant will be issued for your arrest.
Will a warrant really be issued for my arrest if I do not pay?
Yes. A warrant will be issued upon failure to make restitution after a 10-day notice has been sent to you from the DA’s office. The current amount of a warrant fee is $260.00, which is added to the original amount of the check, fees and penalties already owed.
A warrant was issued for me and I was arrested. How will this affect me in the future?
Criminal charges may appear on your record hampering your ability to gain certain employment.