If you have been informed that you are going to be investigated for this offence, it’s essential that you take the legal guidance of fraud solicitors as quickly as possible.
Have you been charged or arrested for obtaining services dishonestly?
If you’ve already discovered that you or somebody you care about is going to be charged or arrested for obtaining services dishonestly, you are no doubt feeling the pressure.
There are cases where somebody is accused of being involved, but in reality, they have not had any involvement. It’s this type of situation where it’s vital that you get your name cleared as soon as possible. Not clearing your name could have disastrous consequences for your future life and career.
To provide you with a greater understanding of what might happen in an obtaining services dishonestly legal situation, we have put together some answers to the most commonly asked questions. We aim to help you by providing some guidance and support as you go through this very challenging situation.
If you have a question, and you cannot find the answer here, contact us and we will do what we can to give you the information that you need. In the case of an emergency, we can be reached on any day or night at any hour on 07980 000 076.
What type of actions are considered obtaining services dishonestly?
Here are some examples of obtaining services dishonestly that may have even led to the situation that you or your loved one are now in:
- Riding on public transport without paying – for instance, you may jump onto the train as it’s leaving the railway station. Although you managed to catch the train just before it left, you will still need to pay for your ticket, even if you have run past the ticket machine. If you are intercepted by the ticket inspector and you do not have a valid ticket in your possession, you could be charged with obtaining services dishonestly.
- Trading fraudulently and gaining services – for example, you may have been trading fraudulently and during this time you took services from groundsmen, IT specialist, cleaning company or other without having any intention of paying them.
The foundation of the obtaining services dishonestly offence is based on the offence that was previously listed under the Theft Act 1978 and known as Obtaining Services by Deception.
This previous offence also covered deception and fraudulent representation. However, this newer version of the offence does not need to contain those factors, but just the obtaining of services that are provided in exchange for payment.
Besides the examples listed above, there many other circumstances that can fit the obtaining services dishonestly offence. If you need to know more about what these are, or if you want to know if a crime that you’ve been accused of is classified as obtaining services dishonestly, you can contact us for further information.
What happens in an obtaining services dishonestly investigation?
If a business reports to the police that you have defrauded them by obtaining services dishonestly, the police will initiate an investigation into the circumstances. You are likely to be asked many questions and the police may ask to speak to your employees, family, friends or other contacts.
There is also likely to be a request to visit you at home or at work to look at your phone records. It’s the role of the police to now prove that you are guilty of fraud. The fraud investigator is likely to want to collect as much evidence as they can including expert reports, photographic evidence, video, audio recordings and images.
Being at the centre of an investigation into obtaining services dishonestly makes most people feel stressed, under pressure and very worried. This is particularly true if it’s possible that you could be handed a prison sentence. Worrying about how dependents will be supported and how financial commitments will be met is highly likely.
Every obtaining services dishonestly fraud case is different; whatever your situation, it’s essential that you speak with an experienced fraud solicitor. They will be able to give you the legal help and guidance that you need to get the best possible outcome.
In some circumstances, a good fraud lawyer may even be able to get your case dismissed prior to it progressing to the court stage.
You may have been falsely accused of obtaining services dishonestly
Some of our clients are wrongly accused of being involved in obtaining services dishonestly. In some cases, you may have had every intention of paying for the services that you have received, and you have evidence to prove it.
During a time like this, it’s crucial that you take the legal counsel of a fraud solicitor. A skilful and competent fraud solicitor may even be able to get your case dismissed. The outcome will be that you can get back to your life and enjoy it as you were before being falsely accused of a crime you didn’t do.
On some occasions, you may be part of a mud-throwing exercise from the prosecution. Their goal is to find out if any of the mud sticks. A knowledgeable solicitor can spot this and give you protection against it.
Without a lawyer, you cannot find out more until the police interview
We advise anybody who is accused of obtaining services dishonestly not to attend any meetings with the police without taking a fraud solicitor along with you. The police will want to invite you to the police station so that they can record the meeting and add it to their evidence against you.
If they arrest you, they won’t share all the information they have on you. You won’t know the full details of they have arrest you, accused you or begun an investigation into what happened. It’s critical that you take a fraud solicitor along with you. A solicitor will be able to demand to know about any further information so that they can begin to craft a robust defence.
The magistrate or court are likely to give the police permission to access all areas of your life. Your telephone, devices, phone records and social media accounts will all be scrutinised for clues. They will look through your WhatsApp and any other communication apps including your email.
Instruct a legal professional as soon as possible
You are going to put yourself at risk if you attend any police interview without a proficient fraud officer at your side.
The training of police officers equips them to ask the most intrusive and probing questions. They may show you some evidence that they have on you. They may keep some for their own benefit which they will use to try to get you to incriminate yourself. The interview will be stressful and pressure filled, as they try to trap you through your answers.
By engaging a competent fraud solicitor, you are giving yourself access to the best legal advice so that you are in position for the best possible outcome.
What should you do if you get arrested or charged with obtaining services dishonestly?
Your first step should be to engage the help of an experienced fraud solicitor. They will give you the support you need to be able to get through the case and potential court appearance.
Obtaining services dishonestly is an area of fraud that most people aren’t thoroughly familiar with. We don’t recommend that you represent yourself, although you aren’t obligated to engage a lawyer. With the speed at which laws change in the UK, it’s crucial to be continually on top of them; they are hard to comprehend.
The most powerful way to defend in any fraud case is to check all evidence including visual proof, witness statements etc.
Can the police search my home?
A judge or magistrate will be approached by the police for a search warrant. The police will then use this to search your vehicle, your home and possibly your workplace. They will look at your images, emails, messages, bank statements and social media accounts or whatever they deem to be relevant and applicable.
Could you go to prison for obtaining services dishonestly?
In recent years, people know more about fraud. The internet provides vast amounts of information and people are less afraid to prosecute those who attempt to take advantage of their good nature or loose policies. Companies often lose a significant amount of money and this means they are now very clued up about how to protect themselves.
If your obtaining services dishonestly case goes to court, and you are found guilty and convicted, there will quite likely be a prison sentence handed to you.
What type of sentence could you get for obtaining services dishonestly?
An obtaining services dishonestly fraud case can lead to a prison sentence if you are found guilty and convicted. The sentence could be as much as ten years, but will depend on the circumstances of your case. Besides, you may be asked to pay a fine and be given ancillary orders as a further penalty and deterrent against future offences.
Read more about sentencing for Obtaining Services Dishonestly offences.
Does a conviction for obtaining services dishonestly go on your criminal record?
If your obtaining services dishonestly case progresses to court, and you are convicted, you will be given a permanent criminal record.
How Can Stuart Miller Solicitors Help?
The fraud lawyers at Stuart Miller Solicitors have deep knowledge of all kinds of fraud cases. They are recognised for their skills in defending including in the cases of obtaining services dishonestly. Visit our Fraud Cases area on our website to discover more about our most recent achievements in fraud cases.
Our team have what it takes to mount the best possible defence for you.
We’ve successfully defended many people who have been accused of obtaining services dishonestly. Our understanding of these prosecutions is vast and our ability to identify flaws in the prosecution case is second to none.
Our team of fraud solicitors are exceptional people in addition to their legal prowess. They know how traumatic these challenges can be and provide you with guidance and support. This is a situation that can take its toll, not only on your emotional and psychological health, but on your family and work life too. We will help you through the ordeal of court and guide you every step of the way.
Our network of forensic scientists, accountants and other expert witnesses will come together to create the best possible outcome for you.
You can book a free consultation with an obtaining services dishonestly fraud Solicitor by contacting us.
Would you like to discuss your case before instructing us?
Contact our fraud team for a meeting, whether it’s face to face or by phone. We can meet with you online too if that is your preference. In addition, you may wish to send us a WhatsApp message by clicking the link in the bottom banner if you are viewing this page on a mobile phone device.