Hot Check Division

What is a hot check?
Under penal code section 31.03 Theft, a person commits an offense if he unlawfully appropriates property or secures performance of a service from the owner by deception. The key under the law is that the owner must give the merchandise at the time the check writer renders the check. Furthermore, inducing a provider of services to provide services by giving the provider a check which the issuer knows will be dishonored by the bank qualifies as deception. Again, the key under the law is that the owner must provide the service at the time the check writer renders the check.

Please note that our office cannot collect on the following types of checks:
If you willingly accepted a post-dated check in exchange for merchandise or a service, you extended credit to the check writer.
Those kinds of checks often prove to be impossible for us to establish which of the other parties involved possessed the intent to commit the theft.
In most cases checks given to pay pre-existing debts do not meet the requirements for a theft charge.

What do I need to file a hot check?
In order to file a check complaint with the Check Division of the Val Verde County Attorney's Office you must:

Submit the original check(s), a copy of any correspondence you sent and certified mail receipt. Please make all necessary copies of documentary evidence for your records before submitting the information to our office.

Please allow 30 days before inquiry is made concerning the check. We will attempt to answer all inquiries but ask that requests be kept to a minimum because of the volume of check complaints received.
How can I minimize my business losses to bad checks?
Never accept a check without checking and writing down the ID of the person signing the check. Always be sure to compare the picture on the ID of the check writer to the person standing in front of you offering the check as payment. Never allow the check writer to tell you the ID number always look at it yourself and record it carefully. Always obtain and verify a physical address for the check writer. 

•        TEMPORARY CHECKS: Check that are not personalized are often a risk. They do not have the account owner's name printed on each check. How can you know that the person giving you the check owns the account on which the check is drawn?
•        LOW NUMBERED CHECKS: 9 out of 10 bad checks bear numbers smaller than 300.
•        NON-LOCAL CHECK WRITERS: Non-local check writers are much harder for us to identify and prosecute. Out-of-state bank records are almost impossible for us to get.
•        NON-RESIDENCE ADDRESS ON THE CHECK: A post office box printed on a check as an address rather than a residence has been shown to be a risk factor.
•        ILLEGIBLE SIGNATURE ON CHECK: A sloppy signature may be an attempt to prevent easy comparison with the signature on the ID.
•      MULTIPLE CHECKS FROM THE SAME ACCOUNT OR BY THE SAME CHECK WRITER IN THE SAME DAY: The check writer may be stealing as much as possible from you before you find out that the checks will not be honored.
•        TWO-PARTY CHECKS: It is usually impossible for us to establish which of the parties had intent to deceive.
•        PRE-SIGNED CHECKS: You cannot swear the signer signed the check and nobody can prove the signer knew the amount for which the check would be written.

You are safer if you avoid the checks listed above altogether.
Have you received a notice from the County Attorney?
Individuals who have received notice of a hot check or feel they may have a check outstanding due to non-sufficient funds and/or account closed should contact this office immediately at 830.774.7571 or make restitution at 207 East Losoya Street, Del Rio, Texas 78840, between the hours of 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM, Monday through Friday. The payment must be in form of a money order or cashier’s check and must be made payable for the exact amount owed. Cash is not acceptable. A drop box is available for money orders and cashier's checks only.