Can I Prosecute For False Allegations?
Private prosecutions are becoming more used as police budget cuts and pressures on the justice system force people to fund their own criminal actions. Prosecutions for a wide array of false allegations such as sexual offences, violent assaults and frauds are currently being pursued by private law firms like Forrest Williams on behalf of individuals just like you.
Many people find that when they report an offence committed against them, the Police do not have the manpower or resources to investigate a complaint fully – or at all in some cases.
It’s a sad but true – and increasingly common – fact that neither the police nor the Crown Prosecution Service have the resources to tackle every crime, as much as they would want to, and sometimes have to cherry-pick which crimes they can put their resources into, often for lack of budget and/or resources.
Almost all of the private prosecutions we are instructed on are brought by people angry and disheartened at the failure of police to investigate, or by the Crown Prosecution Service’s unwillingness to authorise charges following a police investigation.
There are concerns that due to the costs involved, a private prosecution is not available to everyone with some cases reaching court only because the victims can afford to pay the substantial costs up front to fund the prosecution. Legal aid is not available to fund a private prosecution, meaning prosecutions can sometimes be restricted to private industry or wealthy individuals. In many cases, some costs can be recouped after the case concludes but the full costs do have to be met up front by the prosecuting party which is not within everyone’s reach. However, this shouldn’t be a barrier to justice being seen to be done.
The Director of Public Prosecutions (Head of the Crown Prosecution Service) can take over private prosecution cases and carry on with them if it is deemed appropriate which can alleviate some financial stress as their work is funded by the Crown.
However, the CPS can also take over and stop a prosecution if it is considered the legal action is considered vexatious or malicious, or if it interferes with other criminal cases, or are considered not in the public interest, according to CPS guidance.
Bringing a private prosecution is not an easy task as there are so many criteria that have to be met before asking a Court to issue a summons, the most important of which is the question of whether an identifiable offence has been committed and do we have the evidence to support it.
The first stage of any private prosecution is to fully review and understand the complaint and the evidence, and ascertain whether there is any prospect of a successful prosecution.
If you feel you have been let down by the Police and want to arrange a meeting with one of our team to discuss your options, call us to make an appointment or to send us your papers to review.
You can reach our dedicated team on 01623 397200.