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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.
Misdemeanor: A misdemeanor is a lesser charge, but a
charge nonetheless. The Attorney for the Prosecution will ask you
to plead to a misdemeanor because he realizes he may be unable to
get a conviction for the charges listed on your indictment, or
because he is under pressure to obtain a charge regardless of your
careful about the conditions of the misdemeanor. You may be asked
to plead to a Class A, Class B, or Class C misdemeanor (depending on
the terminology in your country, province, or state), and each
class carries different conditions, consequences, and affects your
life in a different manner.
to certain acts you committed before, during, or after you handled
money acquired as part of the crime, your best option is to plead to
a misdemeanor, be very certain you understand the conditions and
consequences of the misdemeanor and how it will affect your life.
cases, a misdemeanor does not mean you cannot get a job and resume
your life as it was before the arrest except for the conditions
imposed by the misdemeanor, such as reporting to a Probation
Probation vs. Parole.
Pattern of behavior:
Some victims of Internet counterfeit draft schemes have received
more than one check or money order and have attempted to cash or
deposit them in more than one place.
eyes of the arresting officer, this demonstrates a "pattern of
[criminal] behavior" and when arrested, the activity at prior
establishments is taken into account, as well as the reason for any
priors you may have on your record.
of this nature is definitely not good, but there are ways this can
be addressed and we will work with your attorney to the best of our
ability to help him properly present the situation to the
Person of interest:
A person of interest is usually a veiled term for a suspect or
target, but it can also be a reference to someone who was the
witness to a crime. If you are described as a person of interest
and you have even a distant involvement and knowledge of a crime,
it's safe to assume you are being regarded as a suspect until
determined otherwise in a court of law or by the Prosecution.
accepting a plea:
Be prepared to be asked to plead to a misdemeanor although we
consider such a plea to be a last resort.
of a plea to a misdemeanor may occur when the Prosecution decides
not to waste the Court's time and proposes to your defense attorney
that you take the offer of a lesser charge than whatever is stated
on your indictment. A plea bargain is the negotiation of the
conditions of the lesser plea - conditions of probation, length of
probation, time served, and so forth depending on the local court's
guideline allowance under the law for the misdemeanor and what the
Prosecution will agree to.
please understand that the offer of a plea can also arise when the
Prosecution doesn't really have a viable case but is under pressure
to come away with something other than a dismissal.
misdemeanor is not a felony charge. While in some cases a
misdemeanor can lead to no more than 1 year of jail time, in your
case you would most likely be looking at a period of probation.
Regardless, if you accept a plea you are admitting guilt to a crime;
you need to weigh your options very carefully and make a serious
determination as to whether you want to proceed with a jury trial.
It is your Constitutional right to have a trial but may or may not
be a good choice for your personal situation.
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