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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 92589
Experience:  JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
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Hi, I am recently a victim of forgery and theft. My ex husband

Customer Question

Hi, I am recently a victim of forgery and theft. My ex husband and I moved into our first home in 1997. The house right next door sold very quickly after we bought ours. We quickly became friends with our neighbor a single man in 2002. In 2004 my ailing father moved in with my ex husband and myself. His health declined and in 2005 he had a massive stroke. Also in that same year my ex husband and I separated. At that time my neighbor helped in the care of my father and daughter and was there as support for myself. I had no other family. I soon remarried and moved out of the house buying a new home with my new husband and family. My father died in June 2006 and my neighbor and I continued a friendship and he watched over the house while it was vacant until 2009 when my step daughter moved in. This included checking on the mail and holding onto it for me so it wouldn't overload the mailbox. My old neighbor forclosed on his home this past summer 2010. Soon after he moved my step daughter got the mail and found a dividend check made out to my father. She brought it over to my house and we soon found that it was a dividend check made out to my father in a stock i had no idea my dad had. Other stocks my father had had long been changed into my name. i was the sole beneficiary of his trust. It was a surprise to say the least to find this stock was out there. This brought up many questions as to where all the other dividend checks were and who cashed them? I took this to our local police and the detective assigned to the case found it was my old friend and neighbor and the first check was cashed 2 months after my father's death in Aug. 2006. The last check was cashed in December 2010. Total $6800.The defendant was arrested in Jan 2011 and spent 3 days in jail after posting a $3600 bond. His status conference has been pushed back twice now. I have not been able to get an answer as to why? Now I believe I have been asked to testify in a preliminary hearing next Monday. I wonder why? Also, why is it the state of AZ against him and not myself? Should I find my own attorney? What should I do from here? I have asked for complete criminal restitution. Thank you.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 3 years ago.
1) When crimes are committed, even though you are the victim here (well your father's estate is the victim as are you because you are the heir) the state prosecutes the case because it is a crime against the state. This is why it is the State v. your neighbor.

2) The continuances are part of the criminal court process, they are controlled by the court and the DA and defense attorney and you as a victim, unfortunately, do not have anything you can say or do about them. The DA, if they are conscientious will keep you informed reasonably as to what is happening, but many times they are just too busy and do not have any legal obligation to do so.

3) You are asked to testify at the preliminary hearing to establish probable cause. You are the heir of the estate and representative of the estate and will be asked questions surrounding giving the neighbor any permission to cash the checks and this is done to establish the elements of the crime.

4) If you have asked for restitution to be ordered in criminal court, then you do not need an attorney, the DA is representing you as the victim. You would need an attorney if you choose to file a civil suit against the neighbor to recover the money he unlawfully took from you. However, you cannot collect both a civil award and restitution from the criminal court, you only get one or the other. Also, they would likely hold the civil case proceeding until the criminal case were completed even if you did file a civil suit.


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Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 92589
Experience: JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
Law Educator, Esq. and 9 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 3 years ago.
Yes, you can contact me at any time for follow up, either by asking for me in the subject line or returning to this question and asking follow up.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thank you!
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 3 years ago.
Thank you.

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Law Educator, Esq.
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JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law