PAY BAD CHECKS OR RESTITUTION
You can call 573 458-6170 during business hours to make a payment or if you have questions.
Bad Check Complaint Form
Bad Check Warning Sign for Merchants to Display
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT BAD CHECKS
Administrative fees are not waived as part of a plea.
The Phelps County Prosecutor’s Office will not give the offender more time to pay their checks. If you have received a letter allowing ten days to pay, that is all the time allowed. Ten days is TEN CALENDAR DAYS, not working days. If the tenth day falls on a weekend or a state holiday, you will be given until 5:00 p.m. on the following business day to provide proof of payment, etc.
ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS FREQUENTLY ASKED BY CHECK WRITER/OFFENDER
We will provide you with information regarding the number of checks our office has on you; the dollar amount of those checks; the process on how checks are marked paid; and the collection process by our office.
We will give you the case number and the dates set by the Court on all filed cases
We cannot reset or change your court date. We cannot excuse you from appearing in Court. ONLY THE COURT CAN DO THAT!
We cannot get your warrant recalled, removed or lifted. Only the COURT can do that.
Paying off all your checks and court costs is a positive factor in determining what action will be taken against you and may be taken into consideration by the prosecutor and the judge.
You need to appear on any date set by your probable cause bond regardless of whether charges have been filed or not.
If you feel you have paid the checks already, you must provide our office with appropriate proof of payment of all checks and state administrative fees.
ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS FREQUENTLY ASKED BY PERSONS OTHER THAN CHECK WRITERS/OFFENDERS
Our office will give to you the case number assigned by the court on filed charges. Our office will give to you appearance dates set by the court on filed cases.
We cannot give you any information regarding checks or complaints under review by our office. That information can only be given to the check writers/offenders or their attorney.
ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS FREQUENTLY ASKED BY MERCHANTS/VICTIMS
If in doubt on how to proceed with a check complaint call our office and we will gladly discuss the process. You can get a complaint form from our office by clicking on the form above, picking one up at the office or by requesting one be mailed or e-mailed to you. The complaint form must be completed based upon the information you currently have in your possession. We cannot assist you in providing further identification information on a check writer/offender.
If the identification information is not complete we might have to decline the case.
Any information you have learned regarding the present location of a bad check writer who has a pending criminal charge outstanding and a warrant outstanding for him/her should be directed to the Circuit Court Clerk’s Office. They can be contacted at 573-458-6170.
Information you have regarding a particular case in which you are the victim should be directed to our check office. They can be contacted at 573-458-6170.
The receipt you give a check writer for paying off the check should have on it the check number, the date of payment, the amount of payment, and should be a type of receipt that is not easily altered or duplicated. You should also show on the receipt if they paid your bad check fee or not.
To hold down your bad checks you might want to consider the following:
1.require a thumb print ID
2.install an ID machine that takes the photo of the person, their ID and the check being cashed
3.require a valid picture ID and compare it to the person cashing the check
4.limit the policy of allowing the writer to write the check for more than the purchase amount
This office will attempt to obtain a valid address for the offender. If we cannot locate a good address, the check complaint will be entered into our system for immediate review for filing of charges. No ten day letter will be sent
The filing of bankruptcy does not stop this office from prosecuting criminal bad check writers. It makes no difference whether the criminal charge was filed before or during the bankruptcy action. The filing of bankruptcy can affect our ability to collect restitution on the check. Note: if amounts owed to the victim/business are included in the bankruptcy proceeding, the Bankruptcy Court requires official written notice to the merchant by the bankruptcy trustee.
Returned checks marked “insufficient funds,” “account closed,” or “no account found,” can be prosecuted as criminal passing bad checks.
If we receive a new check complaint on someone that had previously had a check case dismissed (i.e. all restitution was paid, so case was dismissed) and the new check was written within sixty days after dismissal, we will review the new complaint for immediate filing of the new charge.
If a new check complaint is received with a check that is dated BEFORE the date of conviction, and the defendant is on probation on the conviction, and he/she was required to make restitution and that has not been done, the new check will simply be added to the check list to be paid as restitution.
If an offender, who is a first time offender, with less than $500.00 in bad checks, has paid all their bad checks and fees prior to a criminal charge being filed, that case will be declined for prosecution.
If a case is under review for criminal charges and the offender thinks they have documentation proving they did not intentionally write the bad checks, they need to provide copies of the documentation that shows this, with a written letter explaining the situation. The letter should give specific information regarding the circumstances that prove you did not intentionally write the bad checks.
If a case has already been filed and the offender claims to have documentation proving that they did not intentionally write a bad check or checks; the offender needs to bring with them on their next court date documentation along with a letter explaining their situation, giving specific information regarding their checks.
If the offender has paid all of their checks off but has not paid all the State Administrative Fees, their case will remain in an unpaid status, but will not be reviewed for criminal charges unless additional checks are received for prosecution.
Felony charges will be considered if the offender has bad checks totaling $1,000.00 or more, OR one or more of the bad checks was written in the amount of $500.00 or more.
The Court is the ONLY authority that can excuse or change a court date or appearance. The appearance date of your probable cause bond must be kept even if charges have not been filed.
On misdemeanor bad check cases our office will agree to request the case be reset two times to allow time to make restitution. If restitution has not been made by the third court appearance, this office will request that the case be set for trial and if necessary, that the court appoint a Public Defender to represent you.
No attorney will be allowed discovery unless they have filed an formal Entry of Appearance on the case.
FEES CHARGED BY MERCHANTS
The payment of merchant fees by the offender is a matter between the offender and the merchant.
If you feel that your checks have been stolen or forged, you need to provide our office with a copy of the bank affidavit for a forged check, indicating what check numbers have been forged, and the police report number and the law enforcement agency name where the forgery and/or theft was reported. Once an assistant prosecutor obtains and reviews the police report, a decision will be made whether to continue with prosecution or decline to file.
Any check writer that is under the age of seventeen on the date the check was passed/written, cannot be pursued for charges by our office, the complaint should be sent to the Juvenile Division. They can be contacted at 573-458-6170.
This office represents the State of Missouri in upholding and enforcing Missouri Statutes. We cannot give you legal advice. For legal advice please contact a private attorney.
MOTIONS TO REVOKE PROBATION
If you are on probation and you fail to make restitution or complete any special condition of probation ordered by the court, a Motion to Revoke Probation will be filed with the court. No warning letter will be sent to you.
If a new check complaint is filed with this office, for an offense that occurred after you were sentenced, a new criminal charge and a Motion to Revoke Probation may be filed.
Missouri Statutes require that criminal charges be filed or declined on all payroll checks within sixty days from the date our office receives the completed check complaint. (Section 570.120.7 RSMo)
We must have the ORIGINAL receipt from the merchant/victim showing payment. This receipt should include the check number, the amount paid, and the date payment was made.
REFER TO MAKER CHECKS
Checks marked “refer to maker” are generally a civil matter, not criminal, unless the “refer” order was ordered to the bank due to insufficient funds. “Refer to maker” usually is a result of something other than a criminal intent to defraud, i.e. a change in bank ownership, etc.
SIGNATURE NOT ON FILE CHECKS
Checks marked “signature not on file” are considered possible forgeries and will be returned to the merchant/victim so they can contact the appropriate law enforcement agency for investigation.
STOP PAYMENT CHECKS
Our office will not file on a stop payment check if there is a legitimate dispute over the goods and/or services provided.
We will not send a letter to the offender regarding a stop payment check.
We do not file criminal charges on two-party checks unless the second party is also a signer on the account. Generally two-party check disputes are a civil matter not criminal.
TWO SIGNATURE REQUIRED CHECKS
We do not prosecute checks that require two signatures. It would be considered a civil matter.
UNCOLLECTED FUNDS CHECKS
Checks marked “uncollected funds” are usually civil in nature. Checks marked “uncollected funds” generally means that something has happened on the account that is beyond the control of the account holder. Because of this we can not show criminal intent to defraud.