Bad Checks

Citizens and Businesses of St. Charles County

The St. Charles County Prosecuting Attorney's Office Bad Check Unit assists citizens in the collection and prosecution of bad checks given to them in St. Charles County. Since its creation in December 1989, our unit has prosecuted thousands of bad checks cases and collected approximately $9 million in restitution. In 2014, the Bad Check Unit became part of the office's Financial Services Unit.

In one of their roles, the Financial Services Unit serves anyone who received a bad check in St. Charles County.

How to Obtain Owed Money

Once your bank returns a check and you have been unsuccessful in collecting from the issuer, you may send your bad check to our office. Follow the guidelines set out in the Merchants Handbook for Bad Checks (PDF), and please share this information with your employees and co-workers. Further, please make sure each check submitted to our office is accompanied by a fully completed Probable Cause Statement / Check Information Sheet (PDF).

The services of St. Charles County Prosecuting Attorney's Office in collecting and prosecuting bad checks are free to you, the victim of a bad check. The issuers of bad checks, not you, will pay any administrative costs as set out by Missouri law.

Contact Information

For the fastest response, questions for the unit should be directed to the Financial Services Unit via email.


  1. Bad Check Remedies
  2. Stop Payment
  3. When You Take a Check

If you receive a check that is not honored because the writer lacked sufficient funds or credit in the drawee account to pay the check or because the writer did not have an account with the institution the check was drawn on, the law of Missouri in Section 570.123, Missouri Revised Statues (RSMO), provides you with a choice of remedies:

Civil Action for Money

If you choose to pursue your civil remedy, you would take these steps:

  1. By certified or registered mail, send a notice that the check did not clear and a written demand for payment within 30 days to the maker of the check and to any endorser of the check at the address appearing on the check or to the last known address of each person. Keep a copy of the letter, the stub from the certified or registered mail form, and the green postcard if it is returned to you.
  2. If you do not receive payment within 30 days, file suit. You can represent yourself in small claims court if the amount of money you seek is not greater than $1,500.
  3. In addition to the face amount of the check you can ask for a penalty of 3 times the face amount of the check, but not less than $100 and not more than $500. You can also ask for attorney fees incurred in bringing the action if you have an attorney.
  4. When you have obtained a judgment, you will have to collect it if the writer does not pay it voluntarily.