Sunday, May 9, 2010

When scam victims are arrested

Finding out that you have become a victim of a scam is scary enough, but if you are also arrested and being charged with defrauding the bank it becomes a living nightmare.  One of the things that can help is understanding the definition of some of the words being throw around by lawyers and other officers of the courts.

Arraignment: An arraignment is not a trial, it is where you are read the charges and asked to enter a plea (guilty, not guilty).  It is at arraignment that the first court date is usually scheduled.  Make sure that you have an attorney present at your arraignment.

Burden of Proof:  The party that files the complaint carries the burden of proof, which is proving that there is enough evidence for a case.  In many cases where a scam victim is being charged with trying to defraud the bank and being a willing participate in the scam, the only "proof" that the prosecution has is that the defendant presented a counterfeit document.  

Discovery: The discovery is the pre-trial exchange of information between attorneys.  

Indictment: This is a document that basically sums up the case . . . the charges, the people involved, the court in which the case will be heard.

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