Shawnee County District Attorney

The pursuit of justice is the legal profession’s highest calling and most sacred honor.

District Attorney

Worthless Checks


Pursuant to K.S.A. 21-5821, the crime of Giving a Worthless Check is committed when a check on any financial institution is presented for payment with intent to defraud and with knowledge that there are insufficient funds to cover the full amount of the check. Not all "bad checks" amount to a violation of this statute and, therefore, not all "bad checks" can be prosecuted by the District Attorneys Office ("DAO"). If you believe you have been a victim of this statute and have received a worthless check, please review the Program Guidelines, collect all necessary evidence, complete the required Affidavit, and contact the Topeka Police Department for submission of the case.


Can the DAO file criminal charges for the check that was returned?

If the answer to each of the following questions is "YES" then the case should be submitted for a charging decision:

1. Was the check passed in Shawnee County?

2. Was the check returned for "Insufficient Funds" or "Account Closed"?

3. Is the passer of the check positively identified?

4. Are you willing to appear and testify?

5. If the check is postdated, or the maker of the check asked you to hold the check, did you present the check for payment on or following the postdated or hold date?

6. Did the passer of the check fail to present full payment within seven days of receiving notice that the check was returned?

Can I add a service charge for the worthless check?

Pursuant to Kansas law, you may require a fee of up to $30 for each check that is returned. The added fee must be paid, along with the full amount of the check, within seven days of receiving notice of the returned check. If the total amount is not paid, the case may be presented to the DAO for review if all other criteria are met.

What happens after I submit all necessary paperwork to the Topeka Police Department?

Once TPD collects the evidence and generates a case number, the case will be presented to the DAO for review and a charging decision. If the case is declined the DAO will send you a letter to inform you of the decision. If the case is charged, a warrant or summons will be issued for the person that passed the check. If the case proceeds to trial a subpoena will be issued for all necessary witnesses to appear and testify. If the case results in a conviction, the DAO will seek restitution on your behalf.

Who can I contact for more information about worthless checks?

If you have any questions, please contact the Topeka Police Department, financial crimes division, or you can contact the District Attorneys Office at 785-251-4330.