Lance RichardsonAs your State’s Attorney, I am troubled by the damage done to innocent parties by those who pass bad checks to local businesses. Merchants lose millions of dollars every year due to offenders who pass bad checks. Bad checks affect our entire community. Merchants are forced to raise the prices they charge all of us for goods and services to offset the losses they suffer from bad checks. The dollars needed to fund law enforcement and prosecution efforts to hold these offenders accountable increase every year.

To fight this growing problem, I have organized the Bad Check Restitution Program to help victims of bad checks recover complete and quick restitution without increasing the financial burden on taxpayers and the criminal justice system.

Through the program, we give first time bad check offenders the opportunity to avoid criminal prosecution by paying immediate and full restitution and attending a mandatory educational class. We do all this without any additional expense to the taxpayers of Queen Anne’s County.

I encourage local businesses to participate in this program. The Bad Check Restitution Program is a proven, effective way to help victims recover their financial losses, hold first time offenders accountable and reduce the negative effects of bad checks at no cost to law abiding citizens of our county.

Working together, we can stop the passing of bad checks in Queen Anne’s County.

Lance G. Richardson
Queen Anne’s County, State’s Attorney

The Bad Check Program is designed to assist the local merchants and citizens of Queen Anne’s County who receive worthless checks. The primary goal of the program is to obtain full restitution for the victim (merchant or citizen) without adding to the financial burden of the criminal justice system.

First time bad check offenders are given the opportunity to avoid criminal prosecution by paying restitution and related fees to the merchant or citizen as well as completing a diversionary program. This program is free to the merchants and citizens of Queen Anne’s County and no taxpayer dollars are used to fund this program, the cost of the program is fully funded by the offender.

The program works

Simply put, the bad check program works. Reporting a bad check is easy and follow-up action is prompt. If the offender elects to avoid prosecution and complete the bad check program 100 percent of the face value of the check and any banking fees associated with this matter are returned to you. Bad check offenders are then required to complete a diversionary course, at their expense.

Reporting a bad check is simple

Once you are notified by your banking institution that you have received a “bad check” you must notify the check writer in writing of the bad check and request payment to be made within 10 days.  If the check writer fails to make payment in full within that 10 day period simply provide the bad check and a completed crime report to the State’s Attorney’s Office and the matter will be evaluated for entry into the bad check program.  Once the documents are provided to the State’s Attorney’s Office we will handle it from there.  If the check writer is entered into the bad check program he or she has two options. Comply with the requirements of the program (pay full restitution, pay any fees and complete a diversionary course) or face criminal prosecution. Should the check writer not comply with the requirements of the bad check program criminal charges will be filed by the State’s Attorney’s Office. Repeat offenders and checks that by statute constitute a felony are not typically entered into the program, but proceed directly to criminal charges and criminal prosecution.

For additional information or assistance with the bad check program please contact the Office of the State’s Attorney at 410-758-2264.

Print a bad check crime report (.pdf)