Bad Check Unit

Each year, local businesses lose tens of thousands of dollars because of bad checks that do not have sufficient funds to cover the purchase amount. As a result, companies are often forced to increase their prices to protect the loss of revenue caused by these checks, which directly affects other customers. The losses can sometimes be so severe that a merchant may have to go out of business. Business owners lose their livelihoods and employees of the company lose their jobs.

The Check Unit of the District Attorney’s Office was created to help businesses and victims minimize bad check losses. $259,998.39 has been returned to bad check victims in the Clarke, Choctaw, and Washington Counties as of October 1, 2011, using the unit’s deferred prosecution program. This means that 100 % of the check, plus the statutory merchant service charge, is returned to the victim. First-time bad check writers can benefit from the deferred prosecution program by avoiding criminal prosecution. Although our primary goal is to return restitution to the victim without adding to the financial burden of the criminal justice system, many more thousands of dollars have been recovered through the court system. All restitution recovered is without cost to the victim. The law requires the bad check writer to pay a fee to cover our costs of enforcing Alabama’s worthless check laws.

The Check Unit is staffed by investigators and support personnel who vigorously pursue the restitution owed to victims. A Deputy District Attorney is assigned to prosecute all worthless check cases that go to court. We encourage you to take advantage of this program if you have been victimized by a bad check writer.

The following table represents worthless checks collected for the period of 2010.
This information is accurate as of October 1, 2011.
County Total Cases Total Collected
Clarke 1054 $218,545.33
Choctaw 147 $20,692.96
Washington 357 $80,946.33
Totals 1558 $259,998.39

Wanda Lear
(251) 275-3146

Merchant documents for processing worthless checks are available by
clicking the following links:

DA fees are as follows:

Clarke County – $192.00 per check

Choctaw County – $165.00 per check

Washington County – $166.00 per check