Hot Checks Division

 

 WILLIAMSON COUNTY'S MOST WANTED HOT CHECK OFFENDERS

Avoid Arrest and Take Care of Your Responsibility Pay Hot Checks Online Here Avoid Arrest and Take Care of Your Responsibility

The Hot Checks Division of the Williamson County Attorney’s Office is the clearinghouse for merchants and citizens to report those who write worthless checks. Our Office can use the criminal courts system to see that restitution is paid on the checks, check writers are identified and punished, and future crimes are deterred.

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   Merchant Section

DID YOU KNOW?

·     Filing a check with the County Attorney’s Hot Check Division is FREE.The Hot Check Division of the County Attorney’s Office will send any required notices for you.

·     Our office has handwriting experts to examine handwriting when the person claims that his/her checks are forged.

·     Our office has three clerical staff members that work checks full time.

 ·    We will collect the $30.00 merchant fee on all checks

Even if the Hot Check Division cannot develop a prosecutable case from a hot check you submit, we will still attempt to collect restitution for you as well as the statutory merchant fee to which you are entitled. If the case is a prosecutable case and is filed in court for prosecution, we will require restitution and the merchant fee be paid as a condition of any plea bargain agreement or, if the court agrees, as a condition of probation if probation is granted to the offender by the court. The County Attorney’s Office will not dismiss a case solely because the offender pays restitution or because the victim wants to drop charges. Once filed, the criminal case will proceed as any other criminal case would. The Hot Checks Division and County Attorney Investigators attempt to contact those accused of theft by check in order to confirm the facts of the case and/or arrange a payment schedule.  In many instances, the matter can be resolved and restitution made without a case being filed.  If the person cannot be contacted or fails to follow an arranged payment schedule, then a warrant will be issued for their arrest.

Filing A Check

To File A Check For Collection and/or Prosecution By Our Office, Follow These Steps:

    I. NSF CHECK

·      Send the following Demand Letter demanding full payment within 10 days. You can get it here (Microsoft Word document).
·     If unclaimed, wait 10 days to file your check.
·     If claimed, wait 10 days after date signed.

    II. ACCOUNT CLOSED

      ·      No Notice Is Required

    III.  Filing Forms and Affidavit

      ·      Below, you can print the affidavit that needs to be turned into the Hot Checks office.

    Please make your choice of Adobe Acrobat or Microsoft Word.

AFFIDAVIT   or

·      Fill the form out completely and accurately.
·      The information must be LEGIBLE (NOTE: The PDF form can be filled out in your web browser and printed, if you prefer or simply print the blank form.)

·      The Affidavit form must be notarized and can be mailed (NOTE: Due to the notary requirement, electronic submission is not permitted.)

IV.  THE ORIGINAL CHECK OR THE BANK SUBSTITUTE LEGAL COPY MUST ACCOMPANY THE AFFIDAVIT.

Make a copy of the check for your records  


 IMPORTANT THINGS A MERCHANT SHOULD KNOW

  • You should have a check acceptance policy consistent with the information provided on this website regarding accepting a check and a procedure for taking a check, and you should follow that policy consistently.
  • The County Attorney’s Office cannot accept the following kinds of checks for prosecution:
    • Post-dated or “hold” checks
    • Checks presented outside Williamson County or for services performed outside Williamson County
    • A check given as a substitute for another
    • Checks altered or forged
    • Checks given to pay a pre-existing debt
    • Drafts, which are an extension of credit
  • We do NOT accept RENT checks for collection. This is a civil matter that is handled by the Justice of the Peace.  

  • Be suspicious of :
    • Starter checks
    • Temporary, expired, or out-of-state driver’s licenses
    • Department of Public Safety ID cards (intended for senior citizens and the disabled)
    • Anyone who cannot produce a driver’s license
    • Any variation between the information on the check, the ID produced and/or the check writer
  • Always keep a copy of everything you send to the County Attorney’s Office, Hot Check Division.  

 PROCEDURES FOR TAKING A CHECK

·         IS THE CHECK DATED TODAY?
o    Post-Dated and Replacement Checks Should Not Be Accepted.
·         IS THE SIGNATURE LEGIBLE?
o    The checks should be signed in your presence.
o    Print the name on business account checks if you cannot read the signature.
·         IS THE ADDRESS COMPLETE?
o    The check should contain a permanent street address, and home and work phone numbers.
·         CAN YOU CONFIRM THE IDENTITY OF THE CHECK WRITER?
o    An ID can be forged.  If you are suspicious of photo identification, examine it carefully.
·         DO WRITTEN AMOUNTS AND NUMBERS CORRESPOND?
·         RECORD THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION:
o    Driver's License Number (EVEN IF PRE-PRINTED)
o    Date of Birth
o    Expiration Date of License
o    Initials of Clerk Accepting The Check
·         WHY IS THE INFORMATION NEEDED?
o    Recording the information convinces the jury that the check writer actually wrote the check.
o    This information enables the County Attorney to obtain a warrant.

DO NOT rely on information on pre-printed checks nor on the check-writer providing or filling in the information himself.  The person taking the check must verify the information by actually examining the identification in order to prove that the person identified on the check is the same as the person writing it. 

What You Should Be Checking For:

1. Make sure the signature is the same as the printed name.
   2. Make sure the number amount matches the written amount.

What You Should Be Recording:

DO NOT rely on information on pre-printed checks nor on the check-writer providing or filling in the information himself.  The person taking the check must verify the information by actually examining the identification in order to prove that the person identified on the check is the same as the person writing it.

 

CORPORATE AND DBA CHECK

 

 

 


 

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Check Writer Section & FAQ’s
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. I received notice from the Hot Check Division that some hot checks I wrote have been filed with the County Attorney. What should I do?
A. You should immediately contact the Hot Check Division, find out how much you owe, and make arrangements to pay the checks, the merchant’s fee, and the County Attorney’s  fee. If eligible, you may be able to pay by installments. You can pay by mail with a money order or cashier’s check, and if paying in person, you may pay in cash. As you would expect, the Hot Check Division does not accept personal checks. Never send cash in the mail. Do not make restitution to the merchant directly. It will not save you. For your convenience, the Williamson County Attorney's Office Hot Checks Division along with Western Union now provides the ability to Pay Hot Checks Online! PROSECUTORS OFTEN RECOMMEND FINE-ONLY OR EVEN REDUCTIONS TO LOWER LEVEL OFFENSES IF THE RESTITUTION AND FEES ARE PROMPTLY PAID IN FULL! IF RESTITUTION AND FEES ARE NOT PAID, THE STANDING PLEA BARGAIN OFFER IN THEFT BY CHECK CASES IS THE MAXIMUM JAIL SENTENCE POSSIBLE!  
Q. I didn’t pay the hot checks I wrote and now I have criminal cases filed against me.  What do I do?
A. A warrant has been issued for your arrest. You are advised to surrender to the county sheriff.
Q. OK, now that I have criminal cases filed against me, what happens after I am arrested? If I pay restitution and all the fees and costs, will the criminal cases be dismissed?
A. Your criminal case will be handled as any criminal case would be. Under no circumstances will your criminal case be dismissed just because you pay restitution, fees and costs. The Hot Check Division is not going to be your banker. Once a criminal case is filed against you, the Hot Check Division only collects your money while the prosecutor assigned to your case seeks your conviction.
Q. Can I get a list from your office of the hot checks I have written?
A. You can get a list of hot checks you have written that have been filed with the Hot Check Division. You have to appear in person and have a state driver’s license or other official photo identification. We will not release the information to anyone but you or your attorney.
Q. If hot checks I have written are filed with your Hot Check Division, will I have a criminal record if I pay the checks and fees before a criminal case is filed against me?
A. You will not have a criminal record for the hot checks filed with the Hot Check Division if you pay those checks before a criminal case is filed. However, merely paying the checks you owe will not necessarily prevent a criminal case from being filed. The decision to file a criminal case involves many factors, and no one in the County Attorney’s Office can tell you with certainty that a case will not be filed just because you made restitution, although payment of restitution is a factor in making that decision. All in all, you are likely to be better off if you pay the checks and fees than you would be if you don’t.

 

MAXIMUM Penalties for Theft by Check:
Fine Amounts Do Not Include 
Restitution, Fees, or Court Costs

Value of Property Less than $20

Fine of $500
Value of Property $20 to $500 Fine of $2,000 Plus Six Months Jail Time
Value of Property $500 to $1,500 Fine of $4,000 Plus Jail Time of One Year
Value of Property $1,500 to $20,000 Fine of $10,000 Plus State jail time of Six Months to Two Years
Value of Property $20,000 to $100,000 Fine of $10,000 Plus Prison time of Two to Ten Years
Value of Property $200,000 plus Fine of $10,000 Plus Prison Time of Five to Ninety Years or Life

Hot Check Division Staff

Main Extention 512-943-1138

Debbie Lewis - Supervisor

512-943-1135

Aida Cordova

512-943-1136

Josie Sedwick

512-943-1138

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Williamson County Justice Center
County Attorney's Office
405 M.L.K., Suite 240
Georgetown, Texas  78626
Driving Directions
(512) 943-1111
FAX: (512) 943-1120

Office Hours: 
8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Monday - Friday
Holiday Closures
Front Desk Closed
12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.

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Williamson County Courthouse
710 Main Street Georgetown, TX 78626
Main Telephone: (512)943-1100
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