Hot Check Task Force
The Hot Check Task Force of the District Attorney's Office is responsible for investigating and prosecuting the offense of issuance of a bad check (IBC) and theft by check.
The Hot Check Task Force is part of the Lubbock County District Attorney's Office. The Hot Check Task Force is the only office in the District Attorney's Office that is able to take reports of criminal conduct directly from the victim of the crime. In virtually all other crimes, allegations of criminal conduct are reported to the police, and the District Attorney's Office reviews the police report to decide what charges, if any, are appropriate. The cases that can ordinarily be handled by the Hot Check Task Force without the necessity of a police report are those in which a person writes his or her own check in exchange for goods, services or cash, and in which the victim can identify that person.
The Hot Check Task Force conducts an investigation that ordinarily involves obtaining documents and analyzing them, and, as necessary, interviewing witnesses by telephone. If the case is one that involves checks, but cannot be prosecuted as issuance of a bad check or a theft by check, or which requires large amounts of peace officer investigation, the complainant will be referred to the police agency with jurisdiction of the case. Check forgeries, embezzlements and other fraud cases are investigated by the police agency with jurisdiction over the crime.
We hope this web site proves to be helpful to you. If, after perusing this site, you have further questions, or if you have comments, please call us at 806-775-1111 or e-mail us at:
Hot Check Task Force
Is It a theft or a bad check?
Both theft by check and issuance of a bad check are investigated and prosecuted by the Hot Check Task Force. Under Texas law, a person commits a theft of property or services if that person unlawfully appropriates property or secures performance of a service from the owner by deception. Inducing an owner to give up property by giving the owner a check which the issuer knows will be dishonored by the bank qualifies as deception if the owner provided the goods in good faith reliance that the check would be honored by the bank on which it was drawn.The key under the law is that the owner must give the merchandise at the time the check writer renders the check. Furthermore, inducing a provider of services to provide services by giving the provider a check which the issuer knows will be dishonored by the bank qualifies as deception if the service provider provided those services in good faith reliance that the check would be honored by the bank on which it was drawn. The key under the law is that the owner must provide the service at the time the check writer renders the check.
In the case of hold checks, postdated checks and drafts, however, if the check writer knew at the time the check writer issued the check that the account on which the check was drawn held
insufficient funds to cover this check as well as all other outstanding checks, the check writer may have committed the crime of issuance of a bad check. Complaints involving the crime of issuance of a bad check are investigated by the Hot Check Task Force of the District Attorney's Office.
As you may notice, issuance of a bad check is easier to prosecute than theft by check. We enjoy a great working relationship with our Justices of the Peace. IBCs are prosecuted in their courts. Therefore, most cases received by the Hot Check Task Force are prosecuted as IBCs. If the amount of the check or all accumulated checks exceed $2,500.00, the case can be prosecuted as felony theft by check.
Please note that the following types of checks do not qualify under this criterion:
We do not investigate or collect the following.
- Hold Checks
- Post-Dated Checks