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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69259
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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, Back in 2000 i was charged with several counts of fraud

Customer Question

Back in 2000 i was charged with several counts of fraud and deception, pertaining to my part time work while in university. post arrest i was released, and a date set at a magistrates court. after a session there, it was transferred to the crown court. A date was set for a preliminary hearing, however i missed it and finally in 2001 i left the UK, and never returned.
I was young and stupid when this took place, and am currently married with kids, working well etc. How can i find out my legal status, and what can i do to rectify things? I am a British citizen, living and working abroad, and still use my UK passport for residencies and work permits etc.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
If you didn't answer bail then there will be a warrant for your arrest.
The only way to deal with it once and for all is to hand yourself in. On no account hand yourself in to the police station. Hand yourself in to the issuing court. Then at least they will not hold you in overnight and deliver you to court in the morning.
They will deal with the matter. You could still be prosecuted although it is fair to say that after 14 years their evidence may have weakened.
They will charge you with a Bail Act offence and I am afraid custody is likely since this was a deliberate attempt to avoid justice.
Sorry if that is bad news.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69259
Experience: Over 5 years in practice
Jo C. and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for the response.

When it comes to the charge related to the Bail Act, are they indications as to what sort of custody would be in place?

I've been reviewing the CPS Legal Guidance, and the Fraud Act of 2006 is now in place. I was charged with 27 counts of fraud and deception linked to payments on credit cards in my place of work, with the total value not exceeding GBP 15,000. So would this framework be used, or the previous act in place (1978 if i am not mistaken).


Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
No, it is nothing to do with the Fraud Act.
The Bail Act is an entirely separate offence. I'm afraid that the bracket is the highest and that can lead to up to 10 weeks in custody.
But the bigger problem here is that they could remand you until the trial date if they do intend to prosecute.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

And there is no way to gauge the likelihood of prosecution, even if a local solicitor was to review the case?

reason i ask, is i am keen on putting this to rest once and for all, and i do understand the custody, more likely than not, is something i will face. However i'm keen to know how the initial charges will play out, or would those be disregarded after a period of time?

so potentially 10 weeks in custody against the bail act, and potentially longer if remanded in bail until trial, given that i am potentially a flight risk. If i was to put a sum of money down, would the courts consider that?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
Not really.
It comes down to whether they still have contact with their witnesses and only CPS will know that. After 14 years witnesses often do disappear. In truth, there are ways of tracking people down and if you were being investigated for trying to kiss somebody 100 years ago they probably would spend taxpayer's money to their heart's content on it. For proper crime though, they tend to be more economical.
It is very difficult to meet the objection of flight risk when you have already taken flight. You can offer surety but I would brace yourself for the remand.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

i've read that that maximum sentence for the fraud related charges could extend up to 10 years! is this realistic for a crime of this nature?

these days, are there long waiting periods for cases to be heard in front of the crown court?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
Not really. Nobody gets the maximum sentence for any offence.
The waiting periods are better than they were but I am afraid it could be several months even in a quiet area.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Sorry i'm almost done...

there is no such thing as a charge being dropped or dying after xx number of years...

Secondly, what are the next steps if i wish to make amend to my status. Would i appoint legal counsel prior to returning to the UK?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
These offences are either way and so can be prosecuted at any time.
Some offences are time barred but you were charged in time anyway so they would be able to pursue them.
You can instruct a solicitor but it is best to just hand yourself in and use the duty.

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