Have you written a bad check? If you’ve written a check that was returned due to insufficient funds, you could be criminally charged with the offense of issuance of a bad check. In Texas, issuance of a bad check is a class C misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to a $500 fine. In order for someone to file an issuance of bad check charge against you, they will file a complaint with a justice of the peace court. By law, they are required to send you notice, via certified mail, to your last known address, informing you that they hold a hot check, allegedly written by you, that was returned by the bank for insufficient funds. If you fail to respond, a criminal charge for issuance of a bad check can be filed against you, and a warrant issued for your arrest. Frequently, those being charged with issuance of a bad check are unaware that charges have been filed, and a warrant issued. Many times, this occurs because the “last known address” of the defendant isn’t where they actually reside (e.g., they’ve moved). As a result, the defendant may not receive notice that an issuance of bad check case is pending. and may not learn of the arrest warrant that’s been issued… until a constable comes to their home or office to serve the warrant, or they get pulled over in a routine traffic stop and are taken to jail. If a warrant has been issued for your arrest, due to a bad check you’ve allegedly written, it’s possible to avoid being arrested. An attorney can post an attorney bond on your behalf, thereby removing the warrant without your having to go to jail. Once the warrant is removed, the case is set for a court date, at which an attorney can represent you. Many times, it’s possible to obtain a dismissal of the case, if restitution on the check is made. If the check was forged, a handwriting analysis can be undertaken, and potentially eliminate the defendant as the writer of the check. Also, if it appears, after an analysis of the state’s evidence, that the prosecutor may be unable to prove the case, beyond a reasonable doubt, against the defendant, it may be possible to obtain a dismissal on that basis, as well. If you have an outstanding hot check charge, the worst thing you can do is to sit idly by, and hope that it simply goes away. It won’t! Take action, before it’s too late.