Bad Check Program

The passing of bad checks is a very serious problem in Pima County.  That is why the Pima County Attorney's Office joined with local law enforcement agencies and many local business people in 1996 to establish the Pima County Attorney's Bad Check Program.

The program is designed to help reimburse individuals or merchants for the substantial losses they suffer from receiving bad checks.  We are very pleased to have returned millions of dollars to businesses and individuals participating in this program.

This program is available to any person or organization in Pima County.  The Guidebook contains all the information and forms you will need to participate in this free service.  By working together, we can make a difference for Pima County.

If you receive a bad check, you are first required to notify the check writer that they must reimburse you for the entire amount within the specified time period by statute.  If you do not receive full payment within that time frame, the check writer may be prosecuted.

The Guidebook is intended to inform you of ways to avoid receiving bad checks.  In the event you become a victim, it is also intended to help you participate in the Bad Check Program to recover your loss.  Please read the Guidebook completely and follow all the steps to avoid delays.  Below is a brief overview of the process at the Pima County Attorney's Office, and tips on how to spot a bad check:

Protect Yourself From Bad Checks

Look at the check:

  • Be suspicious of checks that have a low check number or no printed check number.
  • Checks must be dated the day you receive them.
  • DO NOT accept pre-signed checks.
  • Make sure that the numeric dollar amount matches the written dollar amount.
  • Banks will not accept checks with discrepancies.
  • Ask for I.D. and see it for yourself.


Always Demand Identification:

  • The best form of identification is an AZ Driver License or an AZ Identification Card.
  • Compare the name, address, and signature on the license with those on the check. DO NOT accept checks with expired identification.
  • Secondary identification may also help you identify the check writer.
  • Always record your name, initials, or employee I.D. number as the receiver of the check.
  • Write the check writer's driver license number on the front of the check.
  • Remember to include any other identifying information, such as: names, vehicle license plate numbers, etc.

If you still have doubts about a check, don't accept it.

  • You are not required by law to accept checks as a form of payment.

What to do when you receive a bad check

Prepare the Demand for Payment Notice

The Guidebook provides two different types of Demand for Payment forms:

  1. Form A is for checks $4,999.99 or less; a Class 1 Misdemeanor
  2. Form B is for checks $5,000.00 or more; a Class 6 Felony


Print the Demand for Payment Notice, and send to the person who wrote the check

The Demand for Payment Notice may be served, sent by certified mail, return receipt requested, or by regular mail that is supported by an Affidavit of Mailing completed by you.

If you elect to deliver the Demand for Payment by mail, you must complete an Affidavit of Mailing to accompany your documentation submitted to the Bad Check Program.

Please allow 17 days from the date of mailing before submitting to the Bad Check Program.

Prepare the Witness Form and Victim Information Form

  1. Prepare the Witness Form.
  2. A Victim Information Form is needed the first time you send in bad checks.
  3. Both of these forms are included in the Guidebook.

Submitting a Check to the Bad Check Program

If the check writer does not respond to the Demand for Payment Notice, the check may then be submitted to the Pima County Attorney's Bad Check Program.

Place all items listed in the Guidebook in a large mailing envelope, and mail or hand deliver to the Pima County Attorney's office.

What Happens next?

Information On Case Status

  • Persons requesting information or status on a case that has been submitted to the Bad Check Program should wait at least 60 days before making an inquiry.


  • Restitution checks will be issued to the victims the following month after a payment is received when a bad check writer makes a payment to the Bad Check Program.

Original Checks Cannot be Returned Once Collection Begins

  • Once a check is submitted to the Bad Check Program, the Pima County Attorney's Office retains the right to proceed with criminal prosecution of the check writer.

Matters Not Handled By the Bad Check Program
There are types of checks that cannot be accepted into the Bad Check Program. These include:

  • "Stop Payment" check(s).
  • Checks issued in matters which constitute civil disputes.
  • Checks dated more than two (2) years ago.
  • Dual signature checks.
  • Post-dated checks
Please refer to the Guidebook for a more detailed and complete list of the types of checks that cannot be accepted into the Bad Check Program.

What Becomes of the Bad Check Writer

  • As soon as the Pima County Attorney's Bad Check Program receives the completed packet with the check(s), the check writer's name is entered into the Bad Check Program database. A decision is made as to whether the person will be offered the opportunity to enter into the Diversion Program and pay restitution, or whether the Bad Check Program will proceed immediately with prosecution.

How to Contact the Bad Check Program

(520) 724-4100
(520) 882-5966
Pima County Attorney
Bad Check Program
32 N. Stone 11th Floor
Tucson, AZ 85701

For more complete and detailed information, please read through the Guidebook completely.