Defending yourself on fraud charges

Law Blog

If you have been charged with fraud and feel you are not guilty, there are several defences or mitigating defences that you can use. Here are some of the factors that can lead to diminished responsibility for the fraud.

Are you the only one who had access?

The prosecutor will have to prove that it was you that committed the crime. In the case of electronically based crime this can be a challenge, and part of the argument will rely on tracing the money and any unusual spending patterns that you have started at the same time as the fraud commenced.

If you had access, but for example did not adequately guard the password or shared logons between people, you may still have responsibility for the fraud but this can diminish your sentence.

Were you aware of the fraud?

If a subordinate carried out the fraud, but you did not discover the fraud you may also be held liable. The extent of the liability will depend on how financial literate you are, the extent of your investigation into the fraud and the sophistication of the fraud. In some cases the fraud will have been immensely hard to locate given the sophistication of the scam and your literacy in spite of extensive investigation and the court will take this into account when deciding on a punishment.

What is your background?

If you have had a history of similar crimes such as theft, this is likely to increase the sentencing. The court will consider any evidence that you have underlying psychological issues, particularly if you are receiving counselling for the underlying cause.

How has the crime affected your victim?

In the case where you have perpetrated frauds against individuals or small businesses, the victims will be allowed to read Victim Impact Statements in court or lodge them for reading by the judge. This allows the victim to explain the extent of the damage that you have caused themselves and their families by the crime. In many cases for this reason even fraud of relatively small amounts are being treated more seriously by the courts, when it has caused significant distress and negative impact to the victims. 

If you, or someone you care for, is facing charges of fraud it is wise to get specific legal advise from a solicitor who can review the details of your case and prepare a suitable defence and/or mitigation plan. Try contacting a business such as Preston Law for more help.


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