The Fraud Act of 2006 is a complex piece of legislation which lays out a number of different kinds of fraud and recommends sentencing for different levels of severity for each offence. If you are accused of fraud, then you will need to seek out qualified barristers for fraud charges, so that you can be confident that the case will be defended properly.
Barristers for fraud charges are trained in representing people who are accused of fraud, and can help those who may have committed an offence unwittingly to ensure that they get a fair sentence. This is a common issue with business owners who made mistakes with record keeping that have left them accused of fraud, but who had no malicious intent.
There are several different types of fraud, including fraud by false representation, abuse of position, failure to disclose information, making or supplying items for use in a fraud, participation in fraudulent activity as a sole trader, possessing items with the intent to use them in fraud, committing fraudulent activity as a company officer, and obtaining services dishonestly.
Each of these types of fraud is handled differently, and there are several elements to each offence for example, the courts will look at whether the offender engaged in false representation. Were they making claims or statements that were untrue or misleading? Was there clear dishonesty (someone who was negligent in record keeping still committed fraud, but if it was a first offence they may be viewed more leniently than someone who was deliberately dishonest). They will also look at whether there was failure to disclose information, and whether the person had a legal duty to act in a certain way. The nature of any gain or loss caused by the person’s actions (or inaction) will also be considered.
Penalties for fraud charges can vary from community service to up to ten year long custodial sentences, depending on the severity of the offence. That’s why its so important to seek legal advice if you find yourself accused of fraud. The last thing you want is to find that some mistakes you didnt even realise you were making have mounted up to the point that you are now faced with a potentially serious criminal conviction – something that could block your employment chances in the future.
Fraud is not to be taken lightly, and even the best barristers will not be able to protect someone who has wilfully committed a serious offence. However, the legal system exists to ensure that everyone gets a fair hearing and that the punishment fits the crime. If you committed an offence under duress, or you honestly thought you were acting in good faith, then that will be taken into account, as will your past history and your standing in the community. A good barrister will be able to help you get a proper hearing and ensure that you get the chance to recover from your mistakes.