Hot Checks

The Hot Check Division 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 Hot Check Unit conducts investigations that ordinarily involve obtaining and analyzing documentation, and as necessary, interviewing witnesses.

The Hot 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.

Hot Check Division
Fannin County Courthouse
101 E. Sam Rayburn Drive #301
Bonham, TX 75418
903 583-7448

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.


What is a bad check?

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 Fannin County.

What is not a bad check?

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 the 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.

How do I file a Hot Check Complaint?

There are certain procedures that must be complied with before this office can accept a “hot check” for prosecution. These procedures are required by law and are as follows:

  • A notice letter must be sent to the check writer, allowing ten business days from the receipt of the letter to make restitution. The notice letter MUST contain the required wording of the Texas Penal Code Sec. 31.06 (See below for ‘Notice Letter’ form)
  •  A notice letter may be sent via certified mail or first class mail with an affidavit of service (See below for `Affidavit of Service’ form)
  •  A notice letter is not required for checks returned “account closed,” “no account found” or “unable to locate.”

After the expiration of the notice period, you may mail or bring the following to our office to file a complaint:

  • Three copies of the completed complaint form (See below for ‘Complaint Form’)
  • The original returned item from the bank with proof of the reason for return
  • The original signed postal receipt or affidavit of service
  • Copy of the notice letter sent to the check writer
  • The copy of an invoice or receipt describing the transaction
  • The location where the check was presented
  • Description of the person presenting the check, including any identifying information obtained at the time the check was presented. Information found after the transaction or received through an Internet search may not be included.
  • The first and last name of the person accepting the check and whether they could identify the check writer in court.

Downloadable Forms

PDFThe Fannin County Criminal District Attorney’s Office utilizes special forms that must be completed by the hot check victim when filing checks with the office. By clicking on the links below, you may open and save a copy of these forms. The forms must be fully read, sworn to and signed before a Notary Public. If filing your complaint in person, our office can provide this service. If filing your complaint in the mail, we prefer you send your complaint form and all evidence via certified mail.

Notice Letter (fillable .pdf)

Example of Notice Letter

Affidavit of Service by Mail (fillable .pdf)

Hot Check Complaint Form (fillable .pdf)

Who to Contact for Help

The Hot Check Coordinator is Michele Hill and she can be reached at 903-583-7448 /

Hot Check Resources