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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.
Interview vs. Interrogation:
Technically, an interview occurs before an arrest and an
interrogation takes place after an arrest, but things don't always
work out that way.
interview is when law enforcement has not made a determination about
your involvement in a crime. You might merely be considered a
witness, or it may be that you are a suspect or
person of interest.
interview is a fact-finding interaction and not adversarial or
accusatory like an interrogation. Still, it is always best to have
a witness present when speaking with law enforcement in reference to
a crime in which you may be at risk of arrest.
attorney present is always a good choice and is
indicative of guilt. Saying that if you want an attorney
present you must be guilty is merely an intimidation tactic.
aware that statements made by you during an interview OR PRIOR TO AN
INTERVIEW are just as likely to end up in court as a statement you
make during an interrogation. When you are being regarded as a suspect in
a crime, the police DO NOT enter into idle chit-chat with you. Each
action and every sentence has the goal of getting you to admit to a
at all times that if there is the possibility that law enforcement
considers you a suspect, they are NOT your friend and there is
little or nothing you can do to make them your friend. See
You and Law Enforcement
aware that law enforcement may decide to arrest you at any time
during an interview, or change the tone of the interview to that of
an interrogation. It is very, very easy to incriminate yourself
without meaning to do so and once you have, law enforcement's
attitude toward you will change.
If at all
possible, have law enforcement come to your home to speak with you
in the presence of a trustworthy friend or relative and/or an
attorney; take notes and
try to have a tape recorder running in plain view.
officer refuses to interview you with a tape recorder running, then
stop right there and get an attorney.
If it is
not possible for law enforcement to come to you and you must go to
the station, then follow the same rules as above or request that an
attorney be present. Having an attorney present IS NOT an admission
of guilt; it's just a good business practice.
are arrested and read your rights, KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT. DO NOT
WAIVE YOUR RIGHTS. ASK FOR AN ATTORNEY!!
your rights does not demonstrate your innocence in any way, nor does
it make you appear to be a friend of the police. Asking for an
attorney is not an admission of guilt, it is your right! See
Miranda Rights and How to Use Them.
free to leave a friendly interview or one that turns into an
interrogation AT ANY TIME prior to being arrested. That is the law.
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