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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.
Presenting a counterfeit
check at the bank on which it was drawn: When you take a check to the bank it was drawn on
for cashing, they are forced to call the police. This is standard
policy at all banks when presented with a counterfeit, stolen, or
forged check drawn on one of their customer accounts. Had you taken
it to another bank you would still be in trouble, but it is unlikely
that you would have been arrested.
Priors: The term "priors" refers to past
arrests/convictions, in other words, a record. Priors may or may
not affect the arresting officer's attitude toward you; however, it
will definitely affect that attitude if you have a record of
drug-related activity or violence.
are seldom admissible in criminal court unless the arrest/conviction
was for the same crime, and even then the record may be disallowed.
speaking with law enforcement and your attorney, IT IS ALWAYS BEST
to admit to having a record and to avoid making any excuses for it.
Probation vs. Parole:
Parole occurs after a person has been incarcerated, usually for a
felony. Parole means the person has served time for the crime and
must report to a Parole Officer for whatever period of time has been
ordered by the court.
is a bit different. Probation is frequently ordered by the court
instead of jail time in a misdemeanor case, and it means that the
person must report to a Probation Officer on the dates ordered by
may last anywhere from 6 months to a year. During this time, the
person must report to the Probation Officer, ON TIME on the
violation of the conditions of the probation (including being late
for or entirely missing an appointment) can, and often does, result
in the person being put back in jail. Depending on the state and
the conditions of the crime, violation of probation can also mean
that the prior misdemeanor charge is changed to a felony charge.
Defense Attorney, Public Defender (PDA):
You cannot obtain the services of a Public Defender nor have one
assigned to you unless you have been arrested and cannot afford a
private Criminal Defense Attorney.
are assigned a Public Defense Attorney, the one who appears at your
arraignment may not be the same one who handles your case. Be
prepared for one or more changes in the assigned Public Defense
Attorneys and be prepared for the possibility that your attorney
will not answer your phone calls.
Defense Attorneys are always overloaded with cases, and clients who
are anxious and worried have a tendency to want to
speak with their attorney about issues that carry no
real importance at the time.
PDA does not return your phone calls or does not meet with you as
often as you feel is appropriate, that does not mean that he will
not perform to the best of his ability on your behalf.
PDA is not performing on your behalf at all, you can request another
attorney. It's not an easy thing to do so please come back to us
for advice and procedure.
states, there is a nominal fee that must be paid to the Public
Defender's Office for the service of your attorney. This fee may be
as little as $50 as much as $200 or more. Contact your local
court house to find out.
Your and Your Attorney for more
information about working with your attorney
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