Write a bad check, and then refuse to correct it? The Mobile County District Attorney’s Office says that could ultimately land an offender behind bars.
“There’s not one common check; most of these checks or all of these checks are to merchants, or to individuals,” Deborah Tillman, Mobile County Chief Assistant District Attorney.
Merchants, like Hansen Heating and Air.
“So when we go out to do the service we do the work right then and there,” said Heidi Hansen, Manager.
So typically customers sign a check and hand it over to the technician, and some don’t clear.
“I probably average between 8 and 10 a month,” said Hansen.
After a short grace period, Hansen staff take action.
“We send them a certified letter to the owners they have 15 days to respond if they don’t we send it straight to the DA’s office,” said Hansen.
The Mobile County District Attorney’s Office estimates there are some 8,000 people in its jurisdiction that have failed to pay, and now they’re offering offenders a break.
“The Mobile County District Attorney’s Office has launched a new program, it’s called the check enforcement amnesty program,” said Deborah Tillman, Chie Assistant District Attorney.
After seeing success with the municipal court program in the past, the DA’s office is taking a similar approach.
“Obviously, the individual who wrote the check received goods or services in exchange for the check, so they owe these merchants that money, but second of all, there’s a warrant out for their arrest. And you know with a warrant out for their arrest, they could be stopped at a traffic stop and the warrant pops up and they go to jail,” said
And that could all be avoided if between now and April 29th offenders stop by the DA’s office and work on a deal. And that deal – is the face value of the check along with about 200 dollars in fees, one for the original bounced check fee and a fee from the DA. Since 2004 over $9.5 million has been on behalf of merchants.