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Criminal Defence

Accused of Benefit Fraud

Accused of Benefit Fraud

What is Benefit Fraud?

The generalised term ‘Benefit Fraud’ covers a wide range of criminal type of offences. The most common can be described as when someone obtains a benefit they are not entitled to such as Housing Benefit, Council Tax Reduction or Job Seeker’s Allowance (JSA).   It can also be when someone deliberately fails to report a change in their personal circumstances that would affect their entitlement.

The most common examples of benefit fraud are as follows –

  • Giving information or evidence which you know to be false
  • Failure to notify a change in your circumstances which you know affects your benefit or tax credit
  • Knowing you were acting dishonestly when you gave incorrect information or evidence, or failed to report a change

This list above is merely the most common examples, there are many other scenarios that would constitute benefit fraud.

Williamsons Solicitors - Criminal DefenceIs Benefit Fraud a serious offence?

Benefit fraud is a serious criminal offence, and depending on the charge and the overpayment amount, can in certain, severe circumstances, carry a lengthy prison sentence of up to 7 years.

Would cases of Benefit Fraud go to court?

We have found that more and more of these cases are being prosecuted and therefore are heard before a Criminal Court.

The case is more likely to proceed to Court if –

  • the overpayment is over £2000
  • The overpayment has gone on for many years
  • The defendant has previous convictions for the same.

There are many other scenarios that would cause the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) to prosecute these cases.  It almost all cases, if there has been an overpayment, the relevant authorities will seek to recover these monies.

Criminal Defence - Department of Work and PensionsIf you are suspected of having committed a ‘benefit fraud’ offence, it is VITAL that you are represented throughout the entire course of proceedings, from the initial interview to subsequently appearing before the Court. Please contact us straight away so we can assist you from the outset.

We can represent you at interview, free of charge, if you are in receipt of a passported benefit (i.e. ESA, JSA, State Pension Credit) or if your income is below the financial threshold – please contact us immediately so we can advise you as to your eligibility from a cost perspective.

Why choose Williamsons Solicitors?

Our Criminal Defence Department has extensive experience in dealing with these cases – we have a highly experienced team of Solicitors who are supported by a team of experienced Accredited Police Station Representatives whose job it is to assist the lawyers in the preparatory work when matters are at Court.

Can I get Public Funding (Legal Aid)?

 Public Funding is available to those who qualify. There are two qualifying criteria namely:

  • Financial eligibility
  • The interests of justice test

Any member of our team would be able to tell you whether you are likely to qualify for Legal Aid.

If you do not, then we will be more than happy to deal with you on a private fee-paying basis and we will be happy to give you details of our charge out rates.

At Williamsons, our aim is to achieve the best possible outcome for you in your case.

If you are worried about or believe that you have committed Benefit Fraud it is very important that you contact us immediately, so we can advise, assist and represent you throughout these proceedings.

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Read some reviews from our clients

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181 Reviews

Mr Longhorn

Very helpful and supportive and kept me informed all through the process; it went very smoothly and that owes a lot to how they managed it in such a professional manner

Mr and Mrs Hutson

Throughly pleased with all aspects of the service, always updated on every change, or new information regarding the sale of our house and purchase of the new property. Everything went smoothly and couldn't fault the attention to detail and customer service. Thank you to Beth and all who assisted in the process.

Gary R

Efficiency, friendly and supportive Karen Saunders gave excellent advice with no nonsense answers to my enquires and difficult decisions

Mr Adams

Efficient and friendly from start to speedy finish

Sue W

In May 2017 after a long & painful road of recovery wich is still ongoing today. I finally plucked up the courage & decided to approach Willams Solicitors as I felt that there was something very wrong with the poor service i received in March 2015 from 1 1 1. Having made two calls over the weekend. Inspite of right leg being in immense pain & stone cold I was told that i had probably pulled a muscle nothing they could do for me & to visit my GP So after a weekend of struggling with pain i visited my GP to be rushed to Hospital with absent pulses in the right foot. On examination there was a blood clot on my right knee caused by Critical ischaemia nothing whatsoever to do with a pulled muscle. I was told i needed a thrombosis procedure to dissolve blood clot if this was unsuccessful they would have no other choice than to amputate below the right knee I was devastated Thanks to this amazing solicitors who advised me that they felt 1 1 1 had possibly been neglectful & would like to take my case on. With an outstanding Nick Gray becoming my solicitor & the amazing team of experts including Julian Matthews an absolutely brilliant barrister Vascular surgeons experts Professor sir Peter Bell & Professor Shearman who were also amazing in highlighting the Hospital were neglectful as well & need not of removed my leg & could have avoided amputation. All of the other team of experts who helped with this case as well were very good In fact I had a fantastic team i couldn't fault Williams solicitors at all. They proved all 3 defendants to be negligent & they got me an amazing settlement far more than I could ever dreamed of & in a short space of time A huge thanks to Nick Gray & his fantastic team inside & outside Williams I can start rebuilding my life knowing I can afford to have & get the very best in making life a lot easier. I can't have my leg back but I can now smile again knowing life won't be a struggle. I would strongly recommend this Solicitors to anybody who needs a professional honest caring & worth every penny Solicitor you will not be disappointed. Once again a massive Thank you to Nick Gray & all his team ❤ Sue Willoughby

Mrs Pannhausen

Very impressed with Suzanne, Beth & Natalie at the Bridlington Branch, they give 100%, will use them again & recommend them to friends & family.

Mr and Mrs Preston

Williamson’s provide an excellent service at a reasonable price. Very easy to deal with and excellent communication was provided all the way through the transaction. Just what you need in a solicitor.

LJM B

I would highly recommend Williamsons Solicitors, Gordon represented me for my case and was excellent. Always on the end of the phone when I need him. overall top job thankyou. Mr Lloyd Milner

Mr & M

Very friendly and efficient service always replying to any queries and emails on the same day. If solicitor not in still dealt with by other staff. Would definitely recommend and will use again

Mr Andrew W

They have handled my house moving with professionalism and friendliness and kept in touch regularly to keep me updated I would strongly recommend them 👍

Mr Deeley

Very good service from everyone I dealt with at Williamson's. They were very quick and responsive and gave that extra push to get me completed before the Christmas holiday! A very nice Christmas present for me!

Mr E A

Very good service.

John B

Friendly service straight to the point no messing around ... from start to finish less then 4 month Yana had every thing in hand many thanks

Mr and Mrs Rollinson

Excellent service from start to finish Alison Craven explained everything in detail making sure we understood

Broadley H

Excellent service from Williamsons throughout a very protracted property transaction. Carey was patient and helpful at all times and we would highly recommend Williamsons based upon our experience. Thank you :)

Paul B

Hi, Thankyou for helping me with the sale of my late mothers house. You kept me informed and processed the transaction very quickly. Regards...Paul

Mr William E

Williamsons Bridlington office conducted the conveyancing of my house recently. The customer service was exceptional and very professional. The regular communications were very helpful and i was kept up to date throughout the process. Many thanks to Suzanne, Beth and all the staff at the Bridlington office.

Anonymous

Friendly supportive service. Explained everything and responded to queries promptly

Anonymous

Its always difficult when you are selling a house but even more so when it is a probate sale. Williamsons have handled my sale with sensitivity and efficiency and have supported me throughout the process.

Mr & M

Very efficient, prompt replies to queries, show good team work and a very reasonable bill at the end.

Mr D A

I was given an efficient, friendly and courteous appointment.