Worthless Check Unit

The Worthless Check Unit of the Criminal District Attorney’s Office is responsible for collecting all restitution ordered by a court and through investigating and prosecuting “theft by check” cases. The Worthless Check Unit conducts investigations that ordinarily involve obtaining and analyzing documentation, and as necessary, interviewing witnesses.

In 2010, the Tarrant County Criminal District Attorney’s Office collected over $1 million in worthless check restitution. In addition, court-ordered probation or jail time resulted in an additional $500,000.  The Criminal District Attorney’s Office returned $750,000 to victims, through its restitution account, for criminal offenses not related to worthless check complaints

The Worthless Check Section maintains an office where you may file your worthless check complaints. Hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Worthless Check Division
Tim Curry Criminal Justice Center (basement)
401 W. Belknap Street
Fort Worth, TX 76196-0201
817-884-1603

Generally speaking, a potentially prosecutable worthless check is one that is given in the immediate exchange for property or money, or is one given to induce the performance of service or, in special circumstances, at the immediate conclusion of a service.

Eligible bad checks include:

  •  Checks received in person in immediate exchange for merchandise, personal  property, or a service
  •  The check was processed through a bank within 30 days at least once and returned stamped with the following: “NSF; Account Closed; Refer to Maker; Or Unable to locate.” Certain “stop payment” checks are also allowed.
  •  The check was passed in Tarrant County.

Ineligible bad checks include:

  •  Checks that are post-dated, held or received in the mail
  •  Checks in which both parties knew there were insufficient funds at the time of transaction
  •  Two-party checks (except payroll checks and only when the original payee is available to testify in court)
  •  Checks in which the identity of the check writer is unknown
  •  Checks given to further an illegal activity
  •  Checks that involve an extension of credit, payment on an account or repayment of a loan

If you have an “ineligible bad check,” please be advised that you may still have certain remedies available to you under the Civil Laws of the state of Texas. Most of these checks can be filed In Small Claims Courts (J.P. Courts) or you may want to seek the advice of an attorney.

Filing a Hot Check Complaint

Tips for spotting bad checks