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YOUR CHECK LIABILITY: How to really verify a check, money order, traveler's check, cashier's check, etc.

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Explanations and Definitions for Arrested Scam Victims: Terms & phrases used by law enforcement and criminal defense attorneys.

The 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:

Terms and 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.

Please 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.


Removing 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 Misdemeanor and Pleas, accepting a plea.


There also exists the possibility that the court may deny your request for removal. 


Even if 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.


The 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 completed.


Trials: Court appearances are very often continued and 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. 


In most 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.


This 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.


Your 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.


The 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.


While jurors may not have a personal reason to see you convicted of anything, they are still swayed by the prevailing attitudes of the community.


A courtroom 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.


Verifying a 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 federal authorities.


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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