Explanations and Definitions for Arrested Scam Victims: Terms &
phrases used by law enforcement and criminal defense attorneys.
information on the pages in this section will help you
understand what is happening with your case, what to expect,
different phrases you will hear, and more.
While not a
complete run-down of the entire Justice System, after
reading this section you will have a much better
understanding of what is happening to you now, and what will
happen to you as you go along.
Important notice for arrested fraud victims
and their attorneys:
processes are not the same in all countries. The
Explanations & Definitions are generic to the US, Canada,
and countries whose Justice System is based in whole or in
part on British Law. Specifics differ from state to
state to territory, Province to Province, and country to country.
review this section with your Criminal Defense Attorney /
Public Defender so
that he or she can clarify any questions you may have and
explain what differences, if any, exist between the Explanations
& Definitions in this section and those local to you.
Advice from friends and relatives:
Be very, very careful about taking advice from
well-meaning or drama-soaked friends and relatives. The closest
most people ever get to a criminal case is Law & Order. If you want solid,
experience-based advice, ask your attorney. See
You and Your Attorney.
An arraignment is not a trial. An arraignment is where you are read
the charges and asked to enter a plea (guilty, not guilty). It is
at arraignment that the first court date is usually scheduled. You
will read more about arraignments in the Instructions. You should
never, ever represent yourself at your arraignment.
cannot afford an attorney or if you have not yet hired a private
defense attorney, one will be appointed to you by the court or your
arraignment will be continued until your attorney can be present.
Checks in your pocket:
When you are arrested for presenting a counterfeit draft and have
other, undisclosed counterfeit drafts in your pocket or purse that
are discovered when you are searched, in the
eyes of the arresting officer this behavior is an
indication of intent to defraud.
Criminal Defense Attorneys:
There are two types of criminal defense attorneys available to you:
public and private. A defense attorney in the public sector is
called a Public Defense Attorney or PDA and works in the Public
Defender's Office. See
Public Defense Attorney
cannot obtain the services of a PDA prior to being arrested or if
you can afford a private attorney. Whether you are eligible for a
PDA or not varies from state to state and sometimes from county to
county. Please contact your local Public Defender's Office to find
out if you are eligible for public defense.
sector attorneys are called Criminal Defense Attorneys and it is in
your best interest not to just go hunting for one in the phone
book. Try to get a recommendation from friend or family or church
leader. Do not try to hire an attorney who is not a Criminal
Defense Attorney! A Real Estate Attorney or Business Attorney has
no experience in managing a criminal case.
Criminal Defense Attorneys and Public Defense Attorneys have little
or no experience with Nigerian and Eastern European scams. Fraud
Aid does and we have tools your attorney can use to defend you.
When we assist a defense attorney in this type of case, the case
seldom goes to trial.
said seldom. It can happen, so you must be prepared for every
keep in mind that we DO NOT charge for our services unless your
attorney needs ongoing trial strategy consultation, and it's very
rare for such a situation to arise.