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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 27049
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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My attorney here palns to to depose a party on my behalf .

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My attorney here palns to to depose a party on my behalf . That deposition is set for June 21 st . The next step is to file the Civil suite before the statute of lim. runs out . The case involves an alleged cospiracy to steel my my home in Mexico . She feels that there is not enough evidence yet for a possiable criminal action with the prosecutors office . These people from the US rented my house in Mexico for two days via the internet thru my rental agent there and handed the keys off to an unknown person ( they claim it wes a rep. of the owner ) That rep. then allowed another party to move in and changed the locks claiming a ten year lease with my x partner in the house that had no rights to do this . The house is now in a trust in my name only . My question is : is the statute of limitations the same for a criminal suite as for a civil ? Can a deputy sit in on the deposition to determin weather there is a case ? Because this was done on the internet is that wire fraud ? Could the FBI get involved ? Th. Marc
Helllo Jacustomer,

The statute of limitations on a felony in Arizona is 7 years, so you have plenty of time. The civil statute of limitations for an Arizona fraud matter is 3 years. So getting the civil suit filed first would be a good idea. Additionally, the burden of proof on a civil case favors you, while the burden of proof on a criminal case is more favorable to the defense than to the prosecutor.

So not only can you get useful evidence on the civil matter that can bolster the criminal case, but you can potentially win it more easily, which also can help with the criminal case.

No a deputy would not sit in on the deposition. The other side would likely not want him there. You could go to the police or the prosecutor's office at any time to report this crime. I am not going to second guess your attorney, who knows far more about this than I do. If he feels its best to wait he likely has a good reason. If he can't explain it to you in some way you can understand, you can go and report it yourself. You are the complainant and won't need a lawyer as the DA will represent you, but since what you do and say on the one matter can influence the other, by acting too early, you may be compromising the strength of your civil suit.

Yes this could be wire fraud. It is possible that the FBI would be interested, but it would depend upon how much money was fraudulently obtained. The FBI generally leaves to the states matters below $50,000 as not worth the time and expense of a Federal prosecution.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Good advise thxs . Their lease amount was 25,ooo.oo for 10 years . The house easly rents for 1500.00 per month and its been over two years now . The damages should far exceed the 50,000.oo Dollars . Can that figure in ? since its an international fraud does that matter . ?

Hi Marc,

Yes, the aggregate amount they are getting will figure in. Yes, it matters that it is international. It could involve an extradition, as the FBI has no jurisdiction abroad. And whether you have enough evidence to interest the Feds in that is a matter I couldn't possibly say. Your lawyer figures no right now.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

First of all my lawyer here is not a criminal lawyer . Thats kinda why im seeking another opinion . Sinse the conspiracy was initiated here dont know why there would be an extadition ? Could they be prosecuted here and in mexico ? although my lawyer in mexico says yes that could happen .

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Another thought I had : If I got the DA involved now and or the FBI they might do the research and investigating obtaining phone records etc . I realize I can do that with the civil case but would cost me time and legal expenses . What would you do if you were me ?

Hello Marc,

The place where the crime happened is the place of jurisdiction. If the defendant on the criminal suit is in the US, then extradition isn't necessary. If he's Mexican and living in Mexico, that's another story. If there were different crimes committed in Mexico, then yes, it's possible that the defendant can be prosecuted there as well. Keep in mind, however, that jurisdiction over the defendant could be problematic for one country or the other.

The purpose of civil court is to obtain monetary damages. The purpose of the criminal justice system is to punish wrongdoers. If it's money that you want, while you can get resititution as part of a criminal disposition, it will be less money than a civil award because in criminal court you can't get damages. Also, if the defendant ends up in jail, you will wait for years and years for your restitution.

So there are practical as well as tactical decisions to be made.

As I have said, the DA will be handling any criminal case on your behalf, so you won't need a lawyer for your criminal matter. Given that, there is nothing stopping you from filling out a police report -- you should do that any way -- and discussing the pressing of charges. Your lawyer has advised against it at this point, so if you value him, I'd ask how he feels it could hurt you/hurt your civil case. He should be able to tell you because he has all of the facts he needs.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Ok Thxs . If we finish the civil case and prevail can it then go to the prosecutor for criminal action . Would I be able to be awarded damages thru civil proceedings and see them prosecuted criminally ? Also I would like to prepair to collect damages by asset seizure. Would i be able to get their soc. sec. #s in the discovery phase of the civil action ?


Yes, you can finish the civil case before bringing the criminal. That is, you don't have to choose between civil and criminal. You are entitled to try to address the case in both court systems. (Note that a prosecutor does not/will not take on every case that come his way). You will not get restitution from the DA if you have already been reimbursed on the civil side, but the defendant can be punished.

Asset seizure is civil in nature. You should be able to obtain the defendant's social security number when you're in litigation.
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