BAD CHECK UNIT (BCU)
Section 97-19-55 of the Mississippi Code, commonly known as the “Mississippi Bad Check Law,” authorizes District Attorney’s Offices throughout the state to assist victims of bad check writers in recovering restitution. Our office was one of the first in the state to implement this program, even though no funding was allocated by the legislature to fund the program. The Bad Check Unit is self-sustaining and is funded exclusively by service charges recovered from defendants when payment of restitution is made through our office.
We look forward to working with you as we assist you in obtaining the restitution which you are owed as a result of being victimized by those who write bad checks.
The Bad Check Unit
Instructions for Bad Check Complaints
You will need to pick up a Bad Check Complaint Packet from our office. The packets may also be faxed or emailed, upon your request. This contains instructions and the forms that you will need. The check must have been received within the Fourth Circuit Court District which is composed of Washington, Leflore and Sunflower Counites.
All bad checks must be stamped by the bank.
If the check is stamped “NSF” (insufficient funds), then you must send a Statutory Notice by mail. The check writer must be given fifteen (15) days to make the check good. After fifteen (15) days have passed and you have not received restitution, you may then file a complaint with our BCU. If the letter is returned unclaimed or undeliverable, you may file the complaint immediately. The letter must be sent to the address on the check or the address given by the check writer at the time the check was passed. If the check is stamped “Account Closed,” then you do not need to send a letter.
When you turn in a complaint, you must turn in the original or the Legal Copy (stamped by the bank) of the Check. You must also fill out a complaint form for each check that is turned in. Once a bad check complaint is filed with our office, you should not accept any payment toward the check. We do not charge merchants for handling their bad checks, however, if you accept payment on the check after you have turned in to our office, then you will be responsible for withdrawing the check. Mississippi law requires that a business or individual withdrawing a complaint pay a $30 service charge for each check that is withdrawn. The amount of withdraw will increase to $325 if the check has been indicted.
Do NOT File a Complaint If:
You have accepted any partial payment towards the check. This makes the matter civil and must be taken through a lower court. The check is a two-party check.
The check is stamped “signature does not match” or “forgery.” These must be taken through the appropriate Law Enforcement Agency. The check is stamped “Stopped Payment.” These checks will also be taken through a lower court.
What Happens After We Receive A Bad Check Complaint?
We receive a very high number of checks. Each check is entered in the order that it is received. A $40 state fee and a $40 victim fee is added on to each check. We do not immediately issue an arrest warrant for the offender. State law requires that we send a series of letters giving them a chance to pay on the check through our office.
What Happens if They Still Fail to Pay On the Check?
If the check writer does not respond to our efforts to collect on the check, then the case is presented to the Grand Jury for an indictment. If the individual is indicted, a felony warrant is issued for their arrest. In order for us to present the case to the Grand Jury for indictment and prosecution, we must have the check writer’s correct Driver’s License Number or Social Security Number. It may take some time for the warrant to be served depending on how quickly the subject can be located, or the ability of law enforcement to serve the warrant.
If you have a check(s) that you would like to turn over to our office for prosecution please see the attached documents below. Please fill out the required documents in a timely manner and return them to the Bad Check Unit at the address listed within the documents.
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Sex Offender Registry
AG Victim Unit
The mission of the District Attorney’s Office for the Fourth Circuit Court, under the direction of
W. Dewayne Richardson, is to seek justice in order to maintain an environment of safety, security and lawful behavior for the citizens of the Fourth District.
The Office of the District Attorney uses lawful and reasonable methods to successfully identify and prosecute those who commit felony crimes. When a crime occurs, the Office of the District Attorney diligently pursues the indictment and conviction of those responsible, while adhering to all rights of the Victim, ensuring the victim is being provided all direct services applicable, and acknowledging all constitutional safeguards for the accused.
The District Attorney’s Office for the Fourth
District’s goal is to work with law enforcement and the judiciary to punish those who break our laws with adequate punishment. Every representative of the Office of the District Attorney pledges their commitment and full support to the protection of all citizens within the Fourth Circuit Court District.
P.O. Box 426
Greenville MS 38702
P.O. Box 1046
Indianola, MS 38751
P.O. Box 253
Greenwood, MS 38935
Citizen's Involvement in the criminal justice system typically begins with them being a victim, witness, or defendant of a crime. Arrests are made generally by a judge-issued warrant or by a police officer observing a crime in process. Law enforcement may also arrest someone if it has probable cause to believe the person committed a criminal offense. When individuals are arrested they are routinely advised of their Miranda Rights upon arrest, advising them that they have the right to remain silent and that anything they say will be used against them in court. On being questioned, defendants have the right to have their attorney present or to have one appointed if they are indigent.
Felony defendants appear at a first appearance and have the charges reviewed. A judge will inquire if the defendant has an attorney. If low income, the defendant may qualify for a court-appointed lawyer. No plea is entered at this time unless the defendant wishes to plead guilty or waives indictment and has an attorney present. All felony cases are presented to a grand jury in the county that the crime was committed. In the State of Mississippi, only a grand jury has the authority to indict an individual for a felony offense and require them to stand trial for the charges alleged in an affidavit and indictment.
If an indictment is issued, the defendant is bound over to stand trial or enter a guilty plea to the crimes alleged. When a criminal trial occurs all 12 jurors must find the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Sentences are decided by Circuit Court Judges in all criminal matters. In most cases a recommendation is made regarding imprisonment, probation, fines and restitution.
Disclaimer of Liability
The information contained in this web site is provided for general informational purposes only and is not to be relied upon as legal advice. With respect to any information found on this web site, neither the Office of the District Attorney, 4th District, nor any of its employees, makes any warranty, express or implied, including the warranties of merchantability and aptness for a particular purpose, or assumes any legal liability or responsibility for the inaccuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information conveyed. Nothing contained in the Web site is intended to constitute a promise, expressed or implied, by the Office of the District Attorney, 4th District to engage in any undertaking. The Washington County District Attorney's Office is not responsible for the contents of any off-site pages referenced. These links are provided as an information service only.
To the extent that pending criminal matters are discussed in this website, you are advised that a charge is merely an accusation and that a defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty. The materials on this Web site are copyrighted. Copying, reproduction, or distribution of any part of this Web site is prohibited without the prior written consent of the Office of the District Attorney, 4th District. However, downloading and printing of materials from this web site is allowed for the personal use of visitors to the web site. In fact, such use is encouraged.
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