Geri Dipprey, Hot Checks
Jana Mitchell, Hot Checks Assistant
The purpose of the Hot Check Division is to prosecute those individuals who commit the crime of theft by using worthless checks. This division is not a collection agency. Rather, this division will take all methods legally available to collect restitution. These services are free because it is a duty of your county government. Our office wants to help all Burnet County businesses succeed and prevent crime.
The immediate goal of the Hot Check Division is to bring about a conviction for the offense of theft using checks and to gain restitution for the victims of this crime. However, restitution may not always be collected in every case despite all efforts. Merchants must be realistic in understanding the boundaries of the Hot Check Division.
Crimes of Theft using Worthless Checks
Theft by Check: A person commits theft when property, services, or cash is obtained by deception through the use of a check which is invalid because of insufficient funds or because the account is closed. In this scenario, the property, services, or cash is exchanged for the invalid check at the time the check is presented. If not, then the scenario is considered an extension of credit only and therefore not a theft case. Further, a theft by check case can also exist when a check writer issues a stop payment order and refuses to either pay the stopped check or return the merchandise within 10 days after proper notice is given as outlined in the Texas Penal Code (Sec. 31.03, 31.04).
Issuance of Bad Check: If there was an extension of credit and the check writer knew at the time the check was written that there were insufficient funds in the bank, then a class C misdemeanor offense of Issuance of a Bad Check has occurred. These cases are filed with the Justice of the Peace in the precinct when the check was written. (Texas Penal Code Sec. 32.41)