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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 23200
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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i have provided a case to a DA by proper chanels an i have

Customer Question

i have provided a case to a DA by proper chanels an i have never been called back from any one on my claim of a wrong that has be done to me , why does the DA not have to respond when someone stole money from me an nothing happens,
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 5 years ago.

So that I can answer your question, please tell me:

When you say that you provided a case to a DA by proper channels, what did you do?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

i asked the police to investigate a matter of money a partner owes me an that this same partner used a peace of equipment of mine on a note of his that i did not know about or aurthorise. an the responce i got from the police is that they turned it over to the DA an that they would let me know when the case would come up, an a long time went by an like a year an then not hear from any one for a long time an then i asked the DA's office about my case an then the said did not know about it, then the DA's investiagtor i met with him an he said the police lost the reports, an then i went with the investgator to the police where the said to me an the investiagtor they lost the reports an so then i presented a new copy to the investigator an still no reply from DA" s office

Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 5 years ago.

Police can be pretty good when they are called to the scene of an ongoing incident. You can count on them to settle things down one way or another and make an immediate arrest. But whenever someone walks in the way you did and doesn't appear to be in immediate trouble, they don't like making work for themselves. They'll put your matter on the back burner and maybe never get around to it. That's not the way it should be, of course, but it's the way it frequently is.

The other problem with your matter is that the person you're complaining about is a business partner who owes you money. Sometimes the police will just shrug that off because they see it as a civil matter. And in fact you can take this person to civil or small claims court to get your money back on the facts that you're giving.

Things work differently in some states than in others, but I generally advise people here that if you want to prosecute someone, it frequently pays to bypass the police and take your proof directly to the DA's office, ask to speak to an assistant prosecutor and tell them that you want to press charges. DAs have an obligation to all the people in a county, and in most places, they won't send you immediately away, nor will you need an appointment.

That said, DAs are very busy people, and they do not take on every case just because someone comes to them with a claim that they want prosecuted. DAs have the complete discretion to determine for themselves what cases they wish to prosecute and just how aggressively they want to do it. Very frequently they too will tell you that they believe your matter is more suitable for civil court. You can file there on fraud claims and get your money back and damages too, and additionally, the burden of proof is more favorable to you in civil court than in criminal. In civil court, a jury only has to find it more likely than not that the defendant cheated you out of money without your permission or authority in order for you to win. But in criminal court, in order for you to get your partner convicted, the DA would have to prove its case against him beyond a reasonable doubt. So if a jury believed even a little bit the you two were in business together and he just might have had the authority to use the equipment he did, you lose.

The whole story in a nutshell may be that the DA doesn't really want to prosecute your matter, but it's being handled badly and you're getting a runaround. If it turns out that you do have to bring a civil suit, you certainly don't want the statute of limitations to run out while you wait for a call back from the DA which looks like it may never come. It's time, I think to go over there and see if you can talk directly to a prosecutor. Bring another copy of your paperwork so that there's no excuse this time. And good luck!
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Customer: replied 5 years ago.
yes, but the man forged my name on a not at the bank for the money he borrowed,20,ooo dollars
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 5 years ago.

Thank you for clarifying. It really doesn't change my analysis though. Because you two had a business interest you were both involved in, your matter can be heard in either civil court or criminal court. A reasonable criminal jury could believe it possible that he had the authority to sign your name on things. If that's so, you''d lose in criminal court. But in civil court the proof works much more in your favor.

I'm not saying that this is what did happen. I only know the facts that you tell me and it sounds like you got the runaround from the police as well. But it is what frequently happens in these types of cases when people try to press criminal charges and would explain why nobody's taking this matter as seriously as you'd like them to. You do have other remedies to get your money back at least, and pursuing your matter in civil or small claims court wouldn't stop you from also prosecuting once you got the DA to look over your paperwork. You could go forward in both places if the state will take it on.

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