The following Corporate guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:
This Practice Note describes the criminal offences that are of most relevance to company directors, and:
focuses on offences which an individual commits as a principal as distinct from:
secondary liability eg for aiding and abetting, and
inchoate liability eg as a conspirator
is limited to a consideration of the law of England and Wales
The offences covered by this Practice Note are punishable by fine or imprisonment, or both, as specified below.
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While fines imposed by a magistrates' court (ie on summary conviction) for offences committed in England and Wales before 12 March 2012 are subject to a cap ( £5,000) there is no cap on fines imposed by a Crown Court (ie on indictment). Note that for offences committed in England and Wales on or after 12 March 2015, there is no upper limit to the fine which the magistrates' court can impose.
Statutes provide for maximum terms of imprisonment (eg ten years for fraud). This is not the case with common law crimes such as manslaughter and cheating the public revenue (where the maximum punishment is life in prison).
The actual sentence imposed depends in part upon applicable sentencing guidelines. See for example Practice Note: Sentencing fraud offences committed by
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