Bad Check Restitution
What is a Bad Check?
Pennsylvania Consolidated Statute § 4105 sets forth that a person commits an offense if he issues or passes a check knowing that it will not be honored by the drawee. If a person is convicted of knowingly issuing a bad check, he may be ordered, in addition to any criminal penalties, to reimburse the payee the amount of the check, interest thereon at legal rate, and a service charge.
When a person receives a bad check, they are required by Pennsylvania Statutes to notify the check writer. If the check writer resolves the check at this point, it is no longer an issue.
How does the Program Work?
If the check writer refuses to make restitution after your attempt, the check can be turned over to the Dauphin County District Attorney's Bad Check Restitution Program. Please note, the Bad Check Restitution program is for checks under $2000.**
To submit a check to our program you can:
- Mail the check image and the bad check crime report to our office
- Fax the check and the bad check crime report to: 270-234-8035
- Bring the check to our office or to your local District Judge
- Additional bad check crime reports can be found here
As a condition of this program, once the check is submitted you may not collect funds at your store. Because this is a diversion opportunty, there is a strong incentive for check writers to comply. The check writer has two choices: comply with the requirements or face possible prosecution.
Once the check writer makes the payment, our office will disburse the funds on a weekly basis. Merchants will collect the full face amount of the check, and an additional service fee.
If the check writer does not comply with the requirements of the Program, prosecution proceedings can begin. Contact the Dauphin District Attorney's Office for more information: 717-780-6767.
**For Bad Check claims of $2000 or more, please fill out a private criminal complaint and submit it to your local Magisterial District Justice office. Private criminal complaint forms can be found here
Tips to Prevent Check Fraud
There are questions you should always ask yourself when accepting a check for payment. Following these simple rules can help stop check fraud before it starts:
How Low is the Check Number? Most bad checks are written on new accounts so be especially cautious of checks with low check numbers ("low 100's" or "low 1000's").
Did I Check the Signature? Watch the person sign the check. Compare the signature against a photo ID that contains the person's signature, a Driver's License is best. Record the Driver's License number or Social Security number on the check.
Do the Check Amounts Match? Be sure the amount written in numbers and the amount written in words on the check are the same.
Is it Today's Date? Post-dated checks do not qualify for this Program. Make sure the date on the check matches the date you accept it.
Did I Get Enough Information? You should always obtain as much identification as possible. The Social Security Number is preferred but, at a minimum you MUST get the following:
- Address (a street address is best)
- City,State, Zip
- Phone Number
- Drivers License, Social Security, Military or Student Number