Bad Checks

A bad check is a check written by someone who doesn’t have the funds to pay their debt.

The 18th Judicial District Attorney’s Office has a Bad Check Restitution Program that will investigate the fraud. If the list below applies to your case, call the program for help at 800- 772-6952.

Checks that will be investigated by the program: 

  • The amount of the check is less than $20,000 (or multiple checks not exceeding this limit). There are no minimum dollar restrictions.
  • It was received in Arapahoe, Douglas, Elbert or Lincoln counties, deposited in a bank in exchange for goods or services and was presumed “good” at the time of acceptance.
  • A “Courtesy Notice” was sent to the check writer allowing 15 days to make the check good.
  • A photo I.D. (driver’s license or state identification card) was recorded at the time of the transaction.

Checks that will not be accepted by the program:

  • It is post-dated.
  • Both parties knew there were insufficient funds at the time of transaction.
  • Is a two-party, payroll, or government check.
  • The identity of the check writer is unknown.
  • There is no amount, date, or signature on the check.
  • It has not been processed by a bank.
  • The numeric and written amounts on the check do not match.
  • The check involves an “extension of credit” or payment on an account.

The Sheriff’s Office will investigate bad checks if:

  • The check is for more than $20,000.00.
  • The check was written within the past 60 days.
  • The check has been processed and stamped twice by the bank; the account did not exist or has been closed for more than 30 days.
  • The check has written on it a valid Colorado Driver’s License or ID card number and/or the check writer’s DOB, or that the party accepting the check knew the check writer.
  • The person accepting the check (even if different from the reporting party) must be able to testify that the photo on the identification matched the check writer.
  • The check must be pre-printed and contain the name and address of either the check writer’s home or business (no starter checks).

The Sheriff’s Office will not investigate checks for more than $20,000 if:

  • The checks were drawn on out of state bank accounts.
  • There checks were postdated.
  • The check taker agreed to hold onto the check for a while.
  • Checks were part of an installment payment.
  • It was a rent check.
  • The check was guaranteed, unless it exceeds the amount of guarantee.
  • Checks were given as restitution or to satisfy any part of a civil judgment or given as a deposit or earnest money.
  • Partial restitution has been made on the check.
  • Three party checks.
  • Faxed checks.
  • Stop payment checks in most cases.

For questions about bad checks and prosecution contact the Financial Crimes Unit.