Private Prosecution

Listed Under: Blog

This month we have a guest blog written by Steve Williams of
Forrest Wiliams Solicitors based at The Mansfield i-Centre.

Private Prosecution

More and more companies are becoming victims of fraud, whether it is from a former employee or a cyber attack these crimes can have a devastating effect on a business.
The police accept that they cannot cope with all of the fraud reported and will often take no action other than providing a crime reference number. They may tell you that it is a civil matter and that they cannot get involved.
This leaves you with no way of getting justice and no way of recovering your money other than by taking a civil action against the person. This can be costly and time consuming. Often at the end of the case you are still unable to recover the money as the
fraudster will simply say he has no money.
There is however a way that you can take the matter to court without the
help of the police or the prosecution service.
You can take out a private prosecution.

There are a number of advantages of taking a Private Prosecution.-

1. Costs. You are able to claim your legal costs back from the court, whether you win, lose or withdraw the proceedings. Your costs will be assessed by the court and a ‘reasonable’ amount will be paid.
2. Speed. Unlike civil proceedings these matters can be brought to court very quickly. There are no lengthy pre-trial hearings, it is fast tracked to trial.
3. Opponent’s costs. Unlike other proceedings you will generally not have to pay the other sides costs if you lose.
4. You will not have to pay court fees. In civil proceedings you will have to pay a fee depending on the amount you claim. For claims of over £10,000 a court fee of 5% of the value of the claim is payable, up to a maximum of £10,000.
A private prosecutor, unlike in civil litigation does not provide security for costs to an accused. A 5. 5. A common tactic by defendants in a civil matter is to tell the court that they are worried you will not be able to pay their costs if you lose. The court can then order you to pay a sum of money into court to cover the other side’s costs if you lose. If you cannot raise this money (which may be £100,000’s) then you will not be able to proceed with the claim. This does not apply in private prosecutions because you will not have to pay the other sides costs unless your claim was considered wholly unreasonable.
6. You can apply for costs against the defendant to cover the investigation part of the case.
7. You can apply for a pre-charge asset freezing “Restraint Order”.
8. You can apply for a confiscation and/or compensation order on conviction, if the defendant fails to pay they can be sent to prison. Also orders in other jurisdictions can be enforced.

If you have been the victim of crime and would like to discuss this matter further
call Forrest Williams on 01623 600645 or click here
for an initial assessment of your case.