[ News ] [ Paper Feed ] [ Issues ] [ Authors ] [ Archives ] [ Contact ]

..[ Phrack Magazine ]..
.:: Getting Caught: Legal Procedures ::.

Issues: [ 1 ] [ 2 ] [ 3 ] [ 4 ] [ 5 ] [ 6 ] [ 7 ] [ 8 ] [ 9 ] [ 10 ] [ 11 ] [ 12 ] [ 13 ] [ 14 ] [ 15 ] [ 16 ] [ 17 ] [ 18 ] [ 19 ] [ 20 ] [ 21 ] [ 22 ] [ 23 ] [ 24 ] [ 25 ] [ 26 ] [ 27 ] [ 28 ] [ 29 ] [ 30 ] [ 31 ] [ 32 ] [ 33 ] [ 34 ] [ 35 ] [ 36 ] [ 37 ] [ 38 ] [ 39 ] [ 40 ] [ 41 ] [ 42 ] [ 43 ] [ 44 ] [ 45 ] [ 46 ] [ 47 ] [ 48 ] [ 49 ] [ 50 ] [ 51 ] [ 52 ] [ 53 ] [ 54 ] [ 55 ] [ 56 ] [ 57 ] [ 58 ] [ 59 ] [ 60 ] [ 61 ] [ 62 ] [ 63 ] [ 64 ] [ 65 ] [ 66 ] [ 67 ] [ 68 ] [ 69 ] [ 70 ]
Current issue : #26 | Release date : 1989-04-25 | Editor : Taran King
Phrack Inc. XXVI IndexKnight Lightning & Taran King
Computer-Based Systems for Bell System OperationTaran King
Getting Caught: Legal ProceduresThe Disk Jockey
NSFnet: National Science Foundation NetworkKnight Lightning
COSMOS: COmputer System for Mainframe OperationS (Part One)King Arthur
Basic Concepts of TranslationChief Executive Officers & Dead Lord
Phone Bugging: Telecom's Underground IndustrySplit Decision
Internet Domains: FTSaga Appendix 3 (Limbo To Infinity)Phrack Staff
Phrack World News XXVI Part 1Knight Lightning
Phrack World News XXVI Part 2Knight Lightning
Phrack World News XXVI Part 3Knight Lightning
Title : Getting Caught: Legal Procedures
Author : The Disk Jockey
                                ==Phrack Inc.==

                     Volume Three, Issue 26, File 3 of 11

-                                                                             -
=                            %> The Disk Jockey <%                            =
-                                                                             -
=                                  Presents                                   =
-                                                                             -
=                               Getting Caught                                =
-                            - Legal Procedures -                             -
=                                                                             =
-                               March 24, 1989                                -
=                                                                             =
-           An Unbiased Look Into The Ways Of Criminal Proceedings            -
=                                                                             =

     Through this file, I hope to explain what legal action is followed during
an investigation of toll fraud.  All of the contained information is based upon
actual factual information, and although it differs slightly from state to
state, the majority of it is applicable anywhere.  There seems to be a lot of
misconception as to the actual legal happenings during and after an
investigation, so hopefully this will answer some of the too often unasked

     In our particular story, the whole investigation is tipped off from a
phone call by someone to the U.S. Sprint security office.  The volume of calls
of "hackers" calling in on other "hackers" is incredible.  It is amazing how
when one user is mad at another and seeks some "revenge" of sorts, he calls a
security office and advises them that they know of a person who is illegally
using said company's long distance services.  Usually the person will talk to
either a regular customer service representative, or someone from the security
office.  Typically they will merely say "Hey, a guy named 'Joe' is using your
codes that he hacks, and his home phone number is 312-xxx-xxxx."
     Next our security person has to decide if this may indeed be a somewhat
legitimate call.  If all seems fairly reasonable, they will start their own
in-house investigation.  This could mean just doing a CN/A on the phone number
in question to see who the phone is registered under, and check to see if this
person is a legitimate subscriber to their system.
     A call is placed to the person in question's home telco office.  Usually
they will talk to someone in the security office, or a person whom would carry
such a capacity in the area of security.  They will usually coordinate an
effort to put some type of DNR (Dialed Number Recorder) on the subscriber's
telephone line, which will record on an adding machine type of paper all data
pertaining to:  Numbers dialed, DTMF or pulse modes, any occurrence of 2600hz,
codes and other digits dialed, incoming calls including number of rings before
answer, time the line was picked up and hung up, etc.
     This DNR may sit on the subscriber's phone line from merely a few weeks,
to several months.
     At some point either the U.S. Sprint security representative or the telco
security person will decide that enough time has passed, and that an analysis
of the DNR tape is due.  The Sprint official may visit the telco site and go
over the tapes in person, or they may be sent from the telco to the Sprint
     After going over the tapes and finding dialups and codes that were used
that may possibly be used illegally, Sprint will find the actual owners of
the codes in question and verify that the codes were indeed used without any
knowledge or permission of the legitimate owner.  They will also put together
an estimate of "damages," which can include cost of dialup port access, cost
of investigation, as well as the actual toll charges incurred from the
     The Sprint security representative and the local telco security person
will then go to the local police, usually either state or whatever has the real
power in that area.  They will present the case to the detective or other
investigator, display all findings, and provided that the case findings seem
pretty plausible, a search warrant will be composed.  After the warrant is
fully written out (sometimes it is merely a short fill-in-the-blank form) the
three people investigating the case (the police detective, the local telco
security representative, and the Sprint security investigator) will go in front
of a judge and under oath state the evidence and findings that they have as to
date contained in a document called a "discovery" which justify the need for a
search warrant.  Assuming that the findings seem conclusive, the judge will
sign the warrant and it will then be active for the time specified on the
warrant.  Usually they are valid for 24 hours a day, due to the circumstances
that more than likely calls were being made at all hours of the day and night.
     On some agreed date, all the above parties will show up at the suspect's
house and execute the search warrant and more than likely collect all the phone
and computer equipment and bring it to the state police post for further
     All information and evidence as well as all the reports will then be
forwarded to the prosecutor's office to determine what, if any, charges are
going to be pursued.
     Once charges are finalized through the prosecutor, another discovery
document is made, listing all the charges and how those charges were derived.
It is then brought in front of the judge again and if approved, warrants will
be issued for the individual(s) listed.
     The warrants are usually served by sending over one of the local officers
to the suspect's house, and he will knock, introduce himself and ask for the
individual, and then present the warrant to the individual and take them in to
the station.
     The individual will be processed, which usually means being photographed
and fingerprinted twice (once for the FBI and once for the state records), and
then is put into either a holding cell or regular jail.
     Sometimes the bond is already set before the individual is arrested, but
sometimes it is not.  If not, it will be at the arraignment.
     Within 72 hours, the suspect must be arraigned.  The arraignment is a time
when the formal charges are read to the suspect in front of the judge, bail is
set if it has not been already, and the suspect may pick if he wants a jury
trial or a trial by judge.  This, of course, assumes that the suspect is going
to plead not guilty, which is the best thing to do in most cases of somewhat
major capacity.  Further court dates are also set at this time.  If the suspect
is unable to afford to retain an attorney, the court will assign a court
appointed lawyer at this time.
     After the arraignment, the suspect is either allowed to post bail, or is
returned to the jail to await the next court date.  His next court date,
which is the omnibus, is usually slated for about a month away.
     If the set bail seems unreasonably high, your attorney can file for a
"bond reduction."  You will go in front of the judge and your lawyer will argue
as to why your bond should be reduced, and how you have a stable life and
responsibilities and would not try to skip bail.  The prosecutor will argue as
to why your bail should not be dropped.
     At the omnibus hearing, also known as a "fact-finding" hearing (or in some
states, this is known as the "preliminary hearing."--Ed.) the suspect is again
brought in front of a judge, along with his own attorney, and the prosecuting
attorney.  At this time the state (meaning the prosecutor) will reveal evidence
against the suspect, and the judge will decide if the evidence is enough to
hold the suspect in jail or to continue the case to trial.  Nearly always there
is enough, as warrants would not be issued if there was not, since the state
could be opening themselves up to a false arrest suit if they were wrong.  From
here a "pre-trial" date is slated, again usually about a month down the road.
     The pre-trial is the last chance for the suspect to change his mind and
enter a guilty plea, or to continue to trial.  It is also the last point in
which the prosecutor will offer the suspect any type of plea-bargain, meaning
that the suspect enters a guilty plea in exchange for an agreed upon set of
reduced charges or sentencing.  Assuming the suspect still wishes to enter a
plea of "not-guilty," the date for jury selection will be slated.
     During the jury selection, your lawyer and you as well as the prosecutor
will get to meet as many prospective jury members as you wish, and you can each
ask them questions and either accept or reject them based on if you think that
they would be fair towards you.  This eliminates most possibilities of any jury
members that are biases before they every sit down to hear your case.  After
the prosecutor and your attorney agree on the members, your trial date is set,
usually about a week later.
     At trial, the prosecutor will present the case to the jury, starting with
questioning detectives and investigators on how the case was first discovered
and how things lead to you, and in each instance, your attorney will be able to
"cross-examine" each witness and ask questions of their own, hopefully making
the jury questionable as to the validity of everything that is said.  After
that, your attorney is allowed to call witnesses and the prosecutor will be
allowed to ask questions as well.  By rights you do not have to go to the stand
if you do not want to, as you have the right to not incriminate yourself. After
all is said and done, the prosecutor will get to state his "closing arguments,"
a basic summary of all that was presented and why you should be considered
guilty, and your lawyer will give his arguments to the jury, as to why you
should not be judged guilty.
     The jury will go into deliberation, which can last a few minutes, or
several days.  They must all vote and decide if you should be judged guilty or
not guilty.  After the deliberation, court is called back in and the jury will
announce the results.
     If it is decided that you are guilty, you normally have about 10 days to
file an appeal, which would have your case sent to a higher court.  Otherwise
your date for sentencing will be set, again usually about a month away.
     At the sentencing, your lawyer will argue why you should be let off easy,
and the prosecutor will argue why you should be given a hard sentence.  The
judge will come to a decision based on the arguments and then make a decision
on your sentence.  You will then be released to the agency that you are
assigned to, be it the probation department, the prison system, or the county

     I hope this file gives you a more clear view on what happens in the legal
system, in future files I hope to discuss the actual dos and don'ts of the
legal system and advise as to what tricks of the trade are used by legal

     Any questions/comments/threats can be directed to me at;

                        Lunatic Labs      415.278.7421

                                             -The Disk Jockey

Written exclusively for Phrack Newsletter, 1989.  This document may be used in
whole or part as long as full credit for work cited is given to the author.
[ News ] [ Paper Feed ] [ Issues ] [ Authors ] [ Archives ] [ Contact ]
© Copyleft 1985-2021, Phrack Magazine.