For most prosecutions of electoral fraud cases, the representation of the People Act 1983 is used as a benchmark. However, cases that are regarded as conspiracy to defraud may come under general criminal law, if more than one person is involved in the alleged crime.
being accused of electoral fraud can put the accused under immense stress. They can find it hard to sleep and operate in their day to day life. They are unlikely to be put on remand until trial. Therefore, it’s important to hire a strong and highly competent legal team to develop a strong defence strategy.
Have you been arrested or charged for Electoral Fraud?
If you or somebody close to you has been arrested or charged with electoral fraud allegations, you will probably be anxious about what’s going to be the outcome.
In investigations of this serious nature, it’s critical that expert political law experts are engaged from the beginning. Doing so will give you a better chance of securing a more positive outcome.
In this article, we aim to answer some of your questions and provide you with the support and guidance that you need.
What type of actions are considered Electoral Fraud?
Here are some examples of electoral fraud that may have led to the situation at hand.
Vote buying – the term used when voters are given money, services or goods in exchange for a vote in an upcoming election. Parties may send out runners to find voters to bargain with for a vote.
Manipulation of demography – an example of this is when authorities move a large number of voters into an electorate using land or temporary lodging so that they are eligible to vote in that location. It may also be that public housing is used.
Intimidation – this is when the protection and privacy of the polling location are compromised. Bullying and intimidation may take the form of physical, verbal or coercion.
Misleading or confusing ballot papers – an example of this is when a political party is created with a similar name or symbol. The goal is to coerce voters into voting for this candidate to influence the election results.
Ballot stuffing – one person will stuff the ballot box with multiple ballots despite there being only one ballot per person permitted. This can also happen with electronic machines.
What happens in an Electoral Fraud investigation?
When an electoral fraud investigation takes place, it can be very stressful for those who are alleged to have taken part. You may worry about what the outcome might be. Will you be imprisoned and therefore, unable to make an income? The day to day living needs of your family and dependents could be affected. Of course, it’s hard to make an income if you’ve been imprisoned. Everything feels very unstable and uncertain.
The police, as law enforcement officers, have the duty of investigating any allegations of electoral fraud. They may need to interview you and people who are connected to you. They are likely to search your computer, mobile devices and home for evidence and can use that against you. If they find any indication that you have offended, they may arrest and charge you. This evidence will then be used against you during your court appearance.
You may have been falsely accused of electoral fraud
In some cases, the allegations of electoral fraud are just not true. Perhaps there’s been a misunderstanding or confusion about what took place. If you feel this is your situation, then you’ll know that having a legal representative on your side with a deep understanding of this area of the law and electoral fraud defence experience may help you to get the case dismissed before it reaches court.
Instruct a legal professional as soon as possible
If you’ve been accused, arrested or charged with electoral fraud, the first step that you should take is to engage a political or election solicitor as quickly as possible. In the best case, they may be able to get the case dismissed. Alternatively, competent solicitors may be able to conclude your investigation with a police caution.
If you have been charged and are required to attend a police interview, it’s vital that you participate with a competent solicitor. Not doing so could inadvertently put yourself into a weaker position. By using an electoral fraud solicitor, you will have an advantage. A skilled and determined solicitor will be able to gain access to information about the allegations and start building a robust defence for you.
What should you do if you get arrested or charged with electoral fraud?
Electoral fraud can be a very complicated area of law. Although it’s not compulsory for you to take legal representation, we do advise you to do so.
Our team keep current with all changes in the law. By hiring a solicitor that stays current, you’ll be given the best defence and advice. You will be supported throughout the entire process and will ensure that you get the best possible outcome.
Hiring specialist legal knowledge will give you peace of mind. We advise that you get in touch with a capable legal representative as soon as you can and get your case assessed before it develops further.
Can the police search my home?
Depending on how severe the allegations are, the police are likely to request a search warrant from a judge or a magistrate. The next step will be to search your home, potentially your vehicle and your place of work. Seeking to gain access to your private conversations on your mobile devices, computer and text messages to look for evidence that can be used against you, they will build their case to prosecute you.
Any paperwork or materials the investigators consider useful will be seized, in addition to cash or valuable assets which may be found at the premises.
What type of sentence could you get for electoral fraud?
Depending on what you are charged with, the sentence will vary. For example, in 2017, a man was convicted of voting twice for the same party. He had used a variation of his name to register twice at the same address. He then proceeded to vote for his chosen party by both postal vote and polling station. He was fined a total of £380.
Alternatively, if you are a government minister or local councillor and involved in election fraud, upon conviction you would most certainly expect a term of imprisonment as punishment. Read more information about sentencing for Electoral Fraud
What mitigating factors may be considered in sentencing?
When sentencing for electoral fraud, your case will be investigated to discover what harm you may have caused. If you’ve used a false identity or you’ve purposefully given misleading information, this will be taken into account to decide your sentence.
Could you go to Prison for electoral fraud?
Electoral fraud is a severe offence, but not one that will result in a prison sentence every time. If you are in a position of trust and responsibility however, the situation changes entirely and imprisonment is a starting point.
However, by taking the right steps, many cases can be resolved outside of the court system. In these situations, the case may be dismissed, or you will be given a police caution not to re-offend.
We have handled a range of electoral fraud cases and have expertise in this area of law. We can help you by recommending the best course of action to take to mitigate the outcome. No matter what size your case is, get in touch.
Does a conviction for electoral fraud go on your criminal record?
If your electoral fraud case progresses to court and you are convicted of tampering with the results of the voting, your conviction will appear on the CRB / police record. The term of the endorsement will depend on the type and the length of the sentence.
How Can Stuart Miller Solicitors Help?
Our electoral fraud solicitors’ reputation is rightly based on being totally dedicated to serving the best interests of our clients. From the police station stages of the case, right to the very end, we assume the role of protecting you from the ugly wrath of the prosecution and ensuring we secure the best chances of your success in your case.
How can our Fraud Solicitors help ?
We can start advising you and preparing a defence strategy for your electoral fraud case as soon as it becomes known that the offence is being investigated by the police. We can attend the police station with you to safeguard your rights. If the investigation results in charges being preferred, our fraud solicitors can represent you throughout the trial and appeal process, if appropriate.
We offer strategic and commercially savvy lawyers with a fresh and dynamic approach to electoral fraud defence. We don’t believe in waiting for the prosecution to build the case against you and sitting idly by until they give us their evidence. We stand by our commitment to take early instructions and begin collecting defence evidence from the very outset. The benefit of such a pro-active and energetic approach to electoral fraud defence is that crucially important evidence supporting your case may have the capability of supporting the dismissal or withdrawal of charges, thereby avoiding the prosecution altogether.
Our legal team is qualified, competent and determined
We work with some of the best barristers and QCs in the UK. Those who have been vetted and tested by us to demonstrate specialism in defending fraud cases.
If the need arises, we can instruct computer experts, telephone analysts and financial experts to not only scrutinise the prosecution’s evidence but also to provide favourable defence evidence as may be required in the case.
Our electoral fraud solicitors are far too aware of the risk of third parties giving dishonest and exaggerated evidence for whatever reason. Our strategy usually involves identifying everyone who may form a risk and collecting evidence of their criminal history or character, just in case we are forced to attach their credibility.
How to book a free consultation with our Electoral Fraud Solicitors
In such complex and daunting investigations or prosecutions, it is fundamental to engage expert fraud solicitors from the very beginning. Please contact us and ask to speak to our fraud solicitors.
We can arrange to speak to you in person, online or by telephone. If you prefer, you can WhatsApp us from the link you will find on this page.
What will happen when I instruct a fraud lawyer?
We will assign an electoral fraud solicitor to work with you in crafting a credible and effective defence strategy. We will look at the evidence that the police or electoral commission has on you and can then investigate the information that you’ve given us to find a way to provide you with a strong defence.
You will feel a lot more at ease about the situation as you’ll know that we are handling it for you. We have a specialist team who are very up to date on benefits rules and regulations.
Would you like to discuss your case before instructing us?
If you’d like to have a no obligation chat with us before you instruct us to take your case, then call us today.
In addition to giving you a free consultation, we can also represent you at the police station if you’ve been arrested.
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