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Daniel K. Knight

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Introduction

Even with the growing popularity of debit card use, each year thousands of bad checks are written in Boone County. The Prosecuting Attorney’s Office will help you if you and/or your business have received a bad check.

We will first give the check writer an opportunity to pay for the check(s) without filing a criminal charge. This is done in the form of a 10-day demand letter. If the check writer provides payment to the prosecutor’s office within this time period, you will receive payment from the Boone County Treasurer.

Failure to make the check good within this 10-day period provides the prosecutor’s office with a legal presumption of the check writer’s intent to defraud. If the check, service charge, and processing fees are not paid within ten days, the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office determines whether criminal charges can be filed. If charges are filed, a criminal summons or arrest warrant will be issued and once served or arrested, the check writer appears in court. If the defendant pleads guilty, the court pronounces sentence. If the defendant pleads not guilty, a trial date is set and the witnesses may be required to appear to testify.

In some cases, the bad check writer is sentenced to serve time in prison or the county jail. In these situations, the defendant serves the time ordered by the court and no restitution is paid. Often, however, the defendant may be placed on probation. When probation is ordered, the judge has the power to order the defendant to pay restitution as a condition of probation. When restitution is collected as a condition of probation you will be paid by the Boone County Circuit Clerk.

A recent change in Missouri bad check laws, allows for prosecution of a bad check or any other form of presentment involving the transmission of account information for the payment of money, knowing that there were insufficient funds in or on deposit with that account. These transactions are electronic funds transfers (EFT). Two types of EFT that fall under Section 570.120 are listed below:

  1. Point-of-Sale (POS) Transactions: Some debit cards (also referred to as check cards) can be used when shopping to allow the transfer of funds from the consumer’s account to the merchant’s account. When funds are not available the transaction may be returned for insufficient funds.

  2. Pre-authorized Transfers: This is a method of automatically withdrawing funds from an individual’s account when the account holder authorizes the withdrawal of funds for payment of bills.

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