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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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Mr and Mrs Betts

Excellent client service- professional and courteous. Thank you to Madeleine.

Anonymous

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Mr T W

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Mr Beevers

Happy with the work done on my behalf

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Anonymous

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A G

I can well recommend, I have received professional and honest service which lead to positive closure of the case. Always responded with care and fully involvement which gave me more confidence to continue. All advices during the progressing of the case was competent and mirrored current situation.

Mrs Hughes

The conveyancing team were excellent, extremely helpful and made sure that I felt valued at all times. A big thank you

Brian S

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Miss B

Beth Dyson and colleagues have been excellent during the purchase of my new house. Very responsive to email and phone queries, polite and professional, and the sale has been completed in 13 weeks from acceptance of the offer to completion. Given the current COVID-19 situation and how that has impacted on everyone, that's great. Thanks to everyone at Williamsons for making buying my new home so straightforward!

Miss S

Excellent service from Beth Dyson despite all the pressures of the Covid lockdown. Beth carried out conveyancing of my sale and purchase very thoroughly and efficiently with good communication and always in a helpful and friendly manner. Many thanks.

Joanna H

Well from the moment I met Wayne Walker his professionalism,clarity of thought, and aim to do the best job he can were all evident. He has been involved with my family for five years nearly and has always made me feel as though my views were relevant and integral to furthering the case. Wayne has highly developed organisational skills and we always felt just ‘looked after’ by Wayne snd Williamsons in getting through the very worst of times. Wayne sometimes needed to encourage me to look at things from a different perspective and he always achieved this with firm kindness. Wayne is a great professional but more importantly a fundamentally great human being. I will always recommend Williamsons and especially on the subject of clinical negligence I will always recommend Wayne. Full job well done start to finish. Thanks Wayne there are no words. Jo Hogg (Polly’s mum)

Anonymous

Williamsons Solicitors supported our family to succeed to a very high level. We cannot thank Sarah Jackson enough for her incredible support, dedication and commitment to understanding the finest detail of our case. Her dedication was phonememonal and we wouldn't hesitate to recommend her in a heartbeat. Thank you for bringing closure to our case and for supporting us one hundred percent. We were informed at every stage within the case and knew we were in safe professional hands throughout. Many thanks, Mr and Mrs Appleton.

Asoka T

Very professional and a friendly team, specially Helen Lennon who handled my case.

Carl R

I was very happy with the way they handled my case and still got the result even in these hard times where having at the moment thank you to all involved and I’d recommend you to others

Angie L

Williamsons solicitors were professional, caring and efficient. They dealt with what was, a very upsetting experience I had via medical negligence. They kept me up to date, enquired about my well-being and were always available to either speak to me when I had concerns or answered my emails. They ensured that the compensation I finally received was in my best interests by advising what they thought was a too low first offer of settlement. I cannot thank them enough for the way they handled my case and for pushing for a better higher settlement figure. I would definitely use them again should I ever be in a position to need them Thank you so much.

Suzanne W

Would definitely recommend this company, very knowledgeable on all aspects. Extremely helpful with a caring and kind approach, made me feel at ease and comfortable. I was always kept informed at every stage of my case Very happy and would 100% use them for any other matter if needed Thankyou

Mrs Baker

Excellent service, made to feel very welcome, looked after from the very first minute.. would highly recommend to anyone looking for conveyancing on a property or setting up a will.

Mr W F

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Anonymous

Used them a few times for conveyancing and this time, for our Wills. Excellent service as always.