2003 Regular Session
To: Judiciary B
By: Representative Smith (39th)
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 97-19-75, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REVISE THE DEFERRED PROSECUTION FEE IN BAD CHECK CASES; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 97-19-75, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
97-19-75. (1) The holder of any check, draft or order for the payment of money which has been made, drawn, issued, uttered or delivered in violation of Section 97-19-55, Mississippi Code of 1972, may, after complying with the provisions of Section 97-19-57, Mississippi Code of 1972, present a complaint to the district attorney. The complaint shall be accompanied by the original check, draft or order upon which the complaint is filed and the return receipt showing mailing of notice under Section 97-19-57, Mississippi Code of 1972. Not more than one (1) check, draft or order shall be included within a single complaint. Upon receipt of such complaint, the district attorney shall evaluate the complaint to determine whether or not the complaint is appropriate to be processed by the district attorney.
(2) If, after filing a complaint with the district attorney, the complainant wishes to withdraw the complaint for good cause, the complainant shall pay a fee of Thirty Dollars ($30.00) to the office of the district attorney for processing such complaint. Upon payment of the processing fee and withdrawal of the complaint, the district attorney shall return the original check, draft or order to the complainant.
(3) After approval of the complaint by the district attorney, a warrant may be issued by any judicial officer authorized by law to issue arrest warrants, and the warrant may be held by the district attorney. After issuance of a warrant or upon approval of a complaint by the district attorney, the district attorney shall issue a notice to the individual charged in the complaint, informing him that a warrant has been issued for his arrest or that a complaint has been received by the district attorney and that he may be eligible for deferred prosecution for a violation of Section 97-19-55, Mississippi Code of 1972, by voluntarily surrendering himself to the district attorney within ten (10) days, Saturdays, Sundays and legal holidays excepted, from receipt of the notice. Such notice shall be sent by United States mail.
(4) If the accused voluntarily surrenders himself within the time period as provided by subsection (3) of this section, the accused shall be presented with the complaint and/or warrant and prosecution of the accused may be deferred upon payment by the accused of a service charge in the amount of Sixty Dollars ($60.00) to the district attorney and by execution of a restitution agreement as hereinafter provided.
(5) For the purposes of Sections 97-19-73 through 97-19-81, the term "restitution" shall mean and be defined as the face amount of any check, draft or order for the payment of money made, drawn, issued, uttered or delivered in violation of Section 97-19-55, Mississippi Code of 1972, plus a service charge payable to the complainant in the amount of Thirty Dollars ($30.00).
(6) After an accused has voluntarily surrendered himself and paid the service charge as provided by subsection (4) of this section, the district attorney may enter into a restitution agreement with the accused prescribing the terms by which the accused shall satisfy restitution to the district attorney on behalf of the complainant. The terms of such agreement shall be determined on a case-by-case basis by the district attorney, but the duration of any such agreement shall be no longer than a period of six (6) months. No interest shall be charged or collected on restitution monies. The restitution agreement shall be signed by the accused and approved by the district attorney before it is effective. If the accused does not honor each term of the restitution agreement signed by him, the accused may be proceeded against by prosecution under the provisions of Sections 97-19-55 through 97-19-69, Mississippi Code of 1972, and as provided by Section 97-19-79. If the accused makes restitution and pays all charges set out by statute or if the accused enters into a restitution agreement as set out above and honors all terms of such agreement, then if requested, the original check may be returned to the accused and a photocopy retained in the check file.
(7) If the holder of any check, draft or order for the payment of money presents to the district attorney satisfactory evidence that the original check, draft or order is unavailable and satisfactory evidence of the check, draft or order is presented in the form of bank records or a photographic copy of the instrument, whether from microfilm or otherwise, then the procedures provided for in this section may be followed in the absence of the original check, draft or order.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2003.