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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.
the arrest from your record, expunging your record:
Removing the arrest from your record may be very expensive if you
have pled to a misdemeanor. See
Pleas, accepting a plea.
There also exists the possibility that the court may
deny your request for removal.
the charges are dismissed, you will still have to
pay the court to remove the arrest from your record, and you will
have to pay a civil attorney (not your Defense Attorney) to
file the request.
average time before a request can be submitted is 6 months to 1 year
from the time the charges were dismissed or the probation period is
Trials: Court appearances are very often continued
There are two reasons for this: one is that your
attorney asks for more time, and one is that the Prosecution is not
ready. This last one happens a lot.
cases where a Nigerian or Eastern European scam network counterfeit
check / money laundering scheme is involved, there was no
investigation of your case at the time of arrest and there will be
no investigation now.
leaves the Prosecution with the responsibility of proving intent
based on the accusations of the bank, check cashing store, or casino
combined with evidence of your behavior and past record, even if
your past record is not admissible in court.
attorney will ask the Prosecution for Discovery and the Prosecution
may drag its heels providing it. You may go to court only to find
out the assigned Prosecuting Attorney hasn't even read the file
yet. This can go on for months.
outcome of a trial can never be guaranteed; your life is in the
hands of a jury panel that, for the most part, is composed of people
who don't want to be there and who are influenced by regional attitudes
and personal bias, though your defense attorney will do his or her
best to eliminate prejudiced people from jury choice.
jurors may not have a personal reason to see you convicted of
anything, they are still swayed by the prevailing attitudes of the
can be very scary place no matter how innocent you are; however,
so long as you are well-prepared, have provided your attorney with
your true and accurate story, and have confidence in your
attorney, you have a more than even chance of
refuting the Prosecution's accusations of intent to defraud.
check or money order: You can be arrested for merely presenting
a counterfeit/forged/stolen check or money order; it is against the
law to present a forged/stolen/counterfeit document of any kind and
your action can cause you to be arrested by either local, state, or
If you take a draft to the issuing
company, your arrest is pretty much guaranteed. It doesn't
matter that you ask a teller or clerk to verify the draft; the draft
will be shown to their supervisor who will follow corporate policy
and contact law enforcement immediately.
The only way to safely verify a check or
money order is to contact the account holder by phone.
How to Really Verify a Check
or Money Order tells you how to do this.
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