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If you cannot afford a private Criminal Defense Attorney but have too many assets to qualify for a Public Defender


1.  A call to the Prosecution from our Law Enforcement Support Division:

(a) Complete the Request for Help form for Arrested Fraud Victims.

(b) Make sure we your Narrative and a copy of your indictment.  Your indictment is public record so we are not asking for personal information that is private.  Send to

(c) Tell us why you do not qualify for a Public Defender and why you cannot afford a private Criminal Defense Attorney, and be sure to include mention of any prior conviction(s), the dates, and current status.  We have to know what we are up against if there is any relevant or even non-relevant conviction in your past.

2.  Re-present your case to the Public Defender's Office:

(a) Prepare you budget using the Budget Worksheet.

(b) Write a cover letter following the guidelines for a creditor letter, only address your letter to the Public Defender's Office.

3.  Using the court system:

(a) At your arraignment or pre-trial hearing ask the judge for time to find representation either through the Public Defender's Office or through a private Criminal Defense Attorney.

(b) Contact every Criminal Defense Attorney in the phone book and keep a meticulous log of every communication:

Date of call

Time of call

Name of attorney firm


Phone number

Who you talk to

What you said (prepare a script)

What you were told

(c) How to prepare a script:

You objective is to persuade an attorney to represent you pro bono or as close to pro bono as possible.  Barring that, your objective is to find an attorney who will work with you, financially.

Keep in mind that we are accustomed to working with Criminal Defense attorneys, public and private, who know little or nothing about most scams, or who are basing their defense on incorrect assumptions about scams.

Explain to the attorney that you are an arrested fraud victim charged with [read the charges straight from your indictment, don't paraphrase, don't abbreviate] because you [cashed a draft you received, deposited a draft you received, etc. KEEP IT BRIEF, the fewer the words, the better the impression you will make], that you do not qualify for a Public Defender but cannot afford a large retainer.

Be prepared to negotiate, and that means knowing exactly how much you have to work with.  If you demonstrate that you know how to prepare yourself and are forthright about your circumstances, you do have the chance of finding a sympathetic attorney.

(d) Approach friends and family, even if you know they cannot help you pay for an attorney.  Record those interactions in your log.

(e) If you are cannot find an attorney willing to financially work with you, and you cannot find any friends or family to help pay for an attorney, you have your log demonstrating that you have made every attempt possible to find an attorney.

(f) On your next court date, present your log and budget papers to the judge.  Until an attorney solution is found for you, you cannot even make your initial plea before the court at your arraignment or pre-trial hearing.

Under such circumstances, judges have been known to simply appoint an attorney to represent you.

If that's what happens and you can see that your defense attorney is not happy with what just happened, don't get upset about it.  It does not mean that you will not receive fair treatment.  Remember, we will provide your attorney with the tools for him to work toward an early dismissal, meaning he will be able to clear you off his desk without spending endless hours on your case.

It has been our experience that most attorneys, once they realize what has happened to you, become outraged that you were arrested and fight very, very hard to get your case dismissed.

Don't forget to read You and Your Attorney so you will have already adopted a goal-oriented, teamwork-oriented attitude when you do finally meet with your attorney.




We are not attorneys and don't pretend to be.  In our experience, the information and guidance offered on this site have proven to be effective; however, we always recommend that you consult with an attorney.

If you have doubts about Fraud Aid, Inc. do not hesitate to contact federal (FBI, Secret Service, RCMP) Scotland Yard, or local law enforcement to check us out.

Information provided about lotteries and lottery scam: Fraud Aid, Inc. is not affiliated with any pay-to-play or free online lottery or Sweepstakes games and derives no income from any pay-to-play or free online lotteries or Sweepstakes or any of their participating sponsors with the possible exception of a sponsor's independent advertising unassociated with any drawings promotion; nor does Fraud Aid promote or sponsor any lotteries or Sweepstakes or numbers drawing of any kind.

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