Essentially a private crime is one where an individual or organisation chooses to bring about a prosecution rather than the state. However, before choosing to bring about a private prosecution it is important to be aware of what you are doing to see if you have a strong enough case.
Another element of a private prosecution is that the defendant involved may prefer it so that they are not faced with a public prosecution. In the case of a company this is especially the case as a public trial can result in unwanted negative publicity where even winning the case would not necessarily see them coming out with their credibility intact and a case even going to trial could seriously effect their public relations perception in a negative way.
Private prosecutions are commonly used in fraud cases. This is because the process tends to be quicker than with a public trial. However, it is worth noting that most of the time this is usually the best option if the majority of the fraudulent actions took place in the UK, so in the case of a fraud based out in another country this may not be the most appropriate option.
As with other forms of legal work the cost can vary. What affects the cost is the volume of work involved and the complexity of the particular case. It is also important to note that central funds are often required for a private prosecutor (for example if the legal proceedings of the private prosecution are deemed to be frivolous.)
Therefore, you have to weigh up whether the costs involved are worth the time put into a case. Even though this may be quicker than a civil case it can still take up months of your time!
There are certain factors involved in whether or not to proceed with a private prosecution. While it can be quicker to get a verdict essentially you need to decide whether it is worth pursuing someone in terms of the money involved (although sometimes government funds may be available to cover this).
Ideally you want a legal representative who will not only go over the facts with you but also prepare you for the emotional situation as well. While people often associate being a legal representative with being cold or unapproachable this is often far from reality as essentially we recognise that our clients are people and it is important for them to being able to trust their representatives (as the name suggests we represent you!)
At Larcomes while the need for specialisation and resources is important we also believe it is important to care for our clients, to guide them through the process.
A private prosecution may or may not be the most appropriate legal option. This is why we believe in being approachable so that you can discuss your case with us so we can advise you on the best course of action. Contact us today and we will be happy to help you.