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YOU AND YOUR ATTORNEY:

A scam victim's guide to working with your attorney

Printable format

Specific guidance for at risk of arrest and arrested fraud victims

How to alienate your attorney

How to form a team with your attorney

 Specific guidance for at risk of arrest and arrested fraud victims:

1.    DO NOT take any evidence to the police.  Once a person has been arrested or is considered a person of interest (aka suspect), THE POLICE ARE NO LONGER YOUR FRIENDS.  (See You and Law Enforcement)

2.    All evidence goes to your Defense Attorney.

3.    If you do not have an attorney present at the arraignment or pre-trial, KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT.  You can acknowledge your name and state that you do not have representation.  Period. An arraignment is when the plea is stated or an attorney is appointed, it is not a trial.  Anything you say becomes public record and can be used against you at trial.

4.    If you cannot afford an attorney or need to determine if you qualify for a Public Defender, contact your local Public Defender's Office to find out when and how Public Defenders are appointed.

5.    If you can afford an attorney, you want a Criminal Defense Attorney.  Do not gamble with your life by hiring any other kind.

6.    Give your attorney written permission to discuss your case with Fraud Aid's Attorney Liaison Officer and Chief Fraud Victim Advocate.  Complete the Attorney/Client Privilege Waiver and give it to your attorney.  If you have not yet received a copy of the Attorney-Client Privilege Waiver, please write to

7.    Send your attorney's contact information to our Case Manager:

 

8.    Please ask your attorney to contact Fraud Aid.  Three contacts are listed on the permission letter.  Because of Defense Attorney schedules, we have found that it is far more efficient for your attorney to get in touch with us than for us to try to hunt down your attorney. 

Our goal is ALWAYS to help your attorney present a preponderance of evidence and argument that will lead to dismissal or acquittal.  We're very good at what we do, and our services are free unless prolonged trial strategy or other special services are required such as in-depth email tracking reports, Internet forensics, and witness interviews and investigations.

There have been times when arrested fraud victims have expressed fear and doubt regarding Public Defenders (PDA's).  Public Defenders are just as competent, able, smart, cunning, and willing to give their all as Criminal Defense Attorneys who work in the private sector.   

Yes, occasionally you will find a Public Defender who is more than weary and overloaded.  It doesn't matter.  We are there for your attorney to help him or her get you out of hot water.  We will save your Defense Attorney time and effort.  Your attorney's goal is to win and we can help him do that no matter how many cases he has piled up. 

You can run into an attorney who is new to your type of case whether you're paying attorney fees or have a Public Defender.  This does not mean your attorney cannot give you a stellar defense.  Even if your attorney is fresh out of law school and you are his first client, it doesn't matter.  We will educate your attorney about the case then give him the tools to defend you.

How to alienate your attorney: 

  1. Lie: either straight out or by omission.  If you do not tell your attorney everything ? the good, the bad, and the downright ugly, you may be convicted because the Prosecution can present information in court that your attorney doesn?t know about, leaving him with no time to work out a response.

  2. Quote the law

  3. Call incessantly

  4. Don't do as your told

  5. Don't help your attorney in any way

  6. Badger your attorney

  7. Make impossible demands

Your attorney will drop your case if he or she feels that you are too difficult to work with. 

If your attorney sees at the outset that you are going to be too difficult to work with, he or she will either quote you a fee you cannot even begin to afford, or tell you they can't take your case right now or, in civil cases, tell you that you do not have a case.

How to form a team with your attorney:

You and your attorney are a team; don't cop an attitude.  He or she is not the master and neither are you.  You do not simply nod your head up and down like a bobble toy at everything he says, nor do you demand that your defense attorney perform magic tricks.

You must actively participate in your own defense.  This is the only way you will help your attorney give you the best defense.

  1. DO NOT LIE, DO NOT OMIT.  If you do, you might as well hang it up right now.  Omissions can lead to your conviction just as fast as an outright lie.

    Guidance and representation is entirely based on your statements.  One lie and you can be advised to turn left instead of right.  In other words, you can land in jail when the truth would have gotten you off.

    Omissions can be disastrous in court.  If the Prosecution brings up something in court that your attorney is not prepared for, the jury will listen to the Prosecution and realize that you held back information.

    We, you're attorney and Fraud Aid, have heard it all; we do not shock; we are grown ups who don't care what you're into or what you've done.

  2. Do not think you know more about the law than your attorney.  Your attorney knows the judges, the Prosecution, local attitudes, and most of all, how the law is interpreted in the community.

  3. Do not call your attorney day after day.  If you have new information, put it in an envelope and drop it off.  Your attorney will not contact you unless there is a reason to, such as a court date, word from the Prosecution, request for clarification of a statement you made, or other pertinent information that either you or your attorney needs to know.

  4. Research the Internet for other cases like yours and learn how to print articles the right way.  Ask us or your attorney how to do this.

  5. Give your attorney a decent narrative of the events and whatever evidence you have.  You will find instructions and examples in this manual.

  6. Ask your attorney what you can do to help, especially if you are working with a PDA.  Public Defenders are constantly overloaded.  Any assistance you can provide on your case will be appreciated.

  7. If you don't understand something, ask. You are no good to yourself or your attorney unless you completely understand what he or she is telling you.

  8. There is no such thing as a stupid question other than you wanted to ask, but didn't.  The rest of your life is at stake.  If you do not completely and clearly understand a statement and the consequences of that statement, do not agree until you do.

Ask your attorney to request for broad discovery, as broad as he or she can make it.  Broad discovery means any and all information and documents held by the prosecution that pertain to your case.  You cannot mount an intelligent defense if you do not know what you are up against.

Discovery, broad or otherwise, can be very long coming.  The Prosecution can find all sorts of reasons for delaying discovery, including placing your case so far on the back burner that your attorney may have to ask the judge to demand discovery from the Prosecution.

BE PREPARED each and every time you have a court date.  Consult with your attorney to understand what prepared means for you.  If you can't reach your attorney, bring all your case documents, nicely organized in an accordion folder or catalog envelope.

NEVER MISS A COURT DATE unless your attorney specifically tells you that you don't have to appear.  Whether you are in the US or Canada, some court sessions do not require your presence.  We've seen this happen with the Crown more often than in US courts.

Do not be surprised at endless continuances or new court dates.  Your attorney has a limited number of times he or she can ask for a continuance, but in some US courts the Prosecution can come unprepared and ask for a continuance month after month until the Judge orders the Prosecution to be prepared or drop the case.

The Crown handles certain cases differently and a new court date is not necessarily the result of a request for a continuance.

No one has the right to take away your right to a trail by a jury of your peers.  You can give it up (plea bargain) but no one else can take it away from you.  It is a Constitutional Right.

Pleading to a lesser charge means that you are turning your fate over to the very people whose job it is to put you in prison.  If you are not guilty of any charges, don't agree that you are if there is ANY way to put forth irrefutable evidence or argument that you are not guilty.

If your attorney suggests you take a plea that has been offered by the Prosecution/DA, and you do not have a full and complete understanding of the conditions and consequences, STOP.  What you are doing is entering a guilty plea, and though there can be circumstances in which taking a plea is the best choice, you must understand all the conditions of the plea and all the consequences of the plea before making your decision.  See Misdemeanor, and Pleas, accepting a plea.

 

 

 

 

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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