A fraud allegation can have disastrous consequences for you. Your business, your spouse, your children, your finances and your mental health may all be affected. It’s crucial that you get advice from expert fraud solicitors immediately who fully understand the implications and will do everything possible to get the matter dropped before it reaches court.
Fraud allegations can be trying and stressful. You’ll feel unnerved about what the future might hold. Whether you will be given a prison sentence or a financial penalty will be weighing heavily on your mind. You’ll question how you will support your dependents without an income.
As soon as you discover that you are part of a fraud investigation, it’s critical that you seek competent legal advice immediately. By taking early action, it’s possible that fraud solicitors may be able to get your case dismissed before it even reaches the court stage.
On this page, you’ll find the most commonly asked questions together with plain English answers. We will provide you with the support and guidance that you need to get you through this challenging time.
Have you been arrested or charged with fraud offences?
If you or somebody close to you has been arrested or charged in connection with a fraud allegations, you’ll likely to feel unsettled, worried and anxious about the possible outcome.
Even if you had no actual knowledge of any fraud, you may be accused of playing a role, despite not having any direct involvement. In this situation, it’s crucial that you have your name cleared before the case progresses any further.
What type of actions are considered fraudulent?
Here are some examples of fraud that may have led to the situation at hand.
False representation – for instance, using somebody else’s credit card when shopping.
Defrauding of iTunes – for example, a conspiracy to sell illegally obtained iTunes vouchers on eBay,.
Sophisticated bank fraud conspiracy – for example, hacking into a bank account to steal and using several different bank accounts belonging to different people to withdraw the funds.
High tech fraud – for instance, hacking into data to be used in fraud.
There are many other examples. If you would like to know more about whether a crime that you’ve been linked to is classified as a fraud, you can contact us for further information.
What happens in a fraud investigation?
When you are involved in a fraud investigation, you’re likely to find the entire procedure stressful. Not only will you be anxious about what the future may hold, but you’ll worry about the wellbeing of your dependents.
If you’re imprisoned, it’s likely to have a negative impact on your income. You may be worried about whether your family will have enough money to pay for their food and bills.
An expert fraud solicitor will give you advice and support. They will be able to guide you on how to respond to the case and investigation and what to say and what not to say to the authorities. The police will be trying to gain a conviction and so any interview you have with them is designed to get you into the court.
There are many cases where people have been wrongly accused of being involved in a fraud offence. Sometimes your banking information has been used, or perhaps your name has been suggested to prosecutors, despite you having no involvement and not even being aware of this. Otherwise, perhaps your name has been used fraudulently for financial benefit. If this is your situation, then an expert fraud solicitor should be able to get your case dismissed.
There have been occasions where the prosecution has attempted to charge a person with fraud in an attempt to find out who else was involved. An excellent legal team are able to recognise whether this is a case of the prosecution throwing mud to see what sticks.
Without a lawyer, you cannot find out more until the interview
Even if you are arrested, you’re quite unlikely to find out why you’re being accused or investigated until you attend your first police interview.
In a case such as this, it’s crucial to engage with a solicitor before you attend the interview. The solicitor will be able to gain access to further information about the fraud investigation. In combination with information provided by you, the solicitor can use this information to construct a defence for you.
Many people find it frustrating that the police gain permission to look into all areas of your life to obtain evidence. This investigation may include your social media accounts, your bank account or your NHS records in addition to all your contacts and relationships.
Instruct a legal professional as soon as possible
We recommend that you do not attend any police interview without being supported by a proficient fraud solicitor.
The questions that are asked at the interview are likely to be very probing. You may be shown evidence that the police have obtained to prove their case against you. The interview will be high pressure, and you may find it upsetting.
At the end of the interview, you may be charged with fraud.
What should you do if you are arrested or charged with fraud?
Fraud is an area of the law that can be very complicated. Although you aren’t obligated to take legal representation, we recommend that you do so. English law is always changing, and without being constantly on top of these changes, it is hard to stay current with them and to understand how they can be used to support your defence case.
An expert fraud solicitor will have in-depth knowledge of the law and have acquired relevant and valuable experience in similar cases. They will know how they may be able to get you off a charge of this nature. You will be supported throughout the entire process so that you get the best possible outcome.
Hiring specialist knowledge will give you peace of mind. We advise that you get in touch with us as soon as you can so that we can assess your case before it develops further.
Can the police search my home?
The police will make a request to the court for a search warrant so that they can legally search your home (and possibly your workplace) for evidence. They will look for evidence on phone bill statements, money transfers and seize any valuable assets. They may put you and your family or associates under surveillance.
Could you go to prison for fraud?
Fraud is a serious offence that comes with severe punishment if you are convicted.
You may be imprisoned for up to a maximum of ten years and be asked to pay compensation, fines and also face confiscation proceedings.
Of course, this is a worrying time for both you and your family. It’s vitally important that you take the right steps to protect the well-being of everyone concerned.
What type of sentence could you get for fraud offences?
A fraud case is usually heard at a crown court. If you are found guilty and convicted, you may be given up to 10 years’ imprisonment, a large fine or both. The maximum sentence of ten years is typically given to the most serious of cases.
The actual sentence will depend very much on the role you are alleged to have had in the fraud, the technology and equipment used, the profile of the victims, the total loss or the possible loss and whether the fraud jeopardises the trust of the public in financial institutions. Read more information on typical fraud sentences.
What mitigating factors may be considered in sentencing?
The extent of the term of imprisonment and other penalties in cases of fraud will depend on your involvement, how serious the crime is and whether it was carried through or not.
Your mitigation will be crafted by your expert fraud solicitors. Mitigation for these serious offences requires an advanced level of planning and research and usually, we will for example:
consider sentences imposed in past similar cases, to find an argument for the most lenient sentence
consider the sentencing guidelines and find reason to persuade the judge to issue a sentence lower than the guidelines
find facts which distinguish your case from other cases of a similar nature, where lengthy sentences were imposed
collect evidence your previous criminal history (hopefully, the lack of) and show the judge that this was a one-off and isolated incident
find evidence of your standing in the community, your good character and nature, your good deeds, your responsibilities and information on the number of people who are likely to be affected by your absence
argue that there is no loss to the public and the loss is to private financial institutions which are insured against losses for example
there are many others points of mitigation we will consider, as each case depends on its own individual characteristics, the court itself, the nature of the judge, the type of prosecutor, the involvement of the police officer, the interest of the media, the attention of the public and so on.
Does a conviction for Fraud go on your criminal record?
If your fraud case progresses to court and you are found guilty and convicted, your conviction will be noted on your CRB / police record for a number of years, depending on the type and length of sentence imposed on you.
You are also likely to face confiscation proceedings or be ordered to pay compensation, if you have assets in your name or assets in which you have a financial interest.
How can Stuart Miller Solicitors help?
We handle fraud cases regularly and have deep expertise in this field. 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.
Most clients who seek the advice of our expert fraud solicitors fail to understand that it is the prosecution who ‘must prove the case’ to convict you. It is for the prosecution to prove, so that the jury is no less than sure, beyond any reasonable doubt, that you were deliberately and dishonestly involved in the fraud.
Whilst this is a high threshold for the prosecution to convict you, it is imperative that you are also defended by Solicitors who specialise in defending these prosecutions, who have a proven track record of success (see our fraud cases) and will go beyond the call of duty to try and win your case.
Especially when the stakes are so high, where there is the very real possibility of a lengthy term of imprisonment, where confiscation proceedings are more than certainly to follow the main case and where there is an unimaginable impact of your family members; you must be sure your solicitors are creative problem solvers, are experienced and knowledgeable, are right by your side throughout the case and most of all, committed to win.
Why choose our fraud solicitors
Our fraud solicitors are experts at unravelling complex and substantial volumes of evidence often associated with fraud prosecutions. We have a history of successfully defending fraud allegations and stop at nothing to find valuable defence evidence to strengthen your defence. Whilst we usually adopt a worst-case scenario position, you can be sure that shortcuts have not been taken. We will go as far as possible to evaluate the likely defence strategies of others prosecuted for the same offence.
One of the biggest concerns of a solicitor defending these allegations is the uncertainty of what others accused in the case may say, whether they will blame you and whether they will produce evidence in their own defence which may adversely affect your case. Our solicitors have defended fraud cases for decades and always start early on to build the profile and the likely strategy of others accused from the beginning.
We offer a dedicated fraud lawyer, barrister and caseworker to every fraud case, which will ensure an outstanding level of customer service throughout. You can be sure that someone will always be available to assist you, and there is more than one legal mind being applied to the issues in your case.
Also, we use only the best mobile phone experts and only the most competent financial experts to study, analyse and evaluate the evidence to provide useful defence evidence or discredit the prosecution’s evidence.
Taking early action increases the chances of success. Some prosecutions are intimidating, complicated and need skilful advice at every juncture.
We offer you a free consultation for you to discuss your case. We can act for you at the police station for free and after that, we can help assess your financial eligibility for legal aid.
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