Misconduct in a public office is an offence at common law (‘the offence’) applicable to those who are public office holders and is committed when the office holder acts, or fails to act, in such a way that results in a breach of his/ her duties of that office.
There must be a direct correlation between the misfeasance or breach of powers and the duties of the office and the offence is not normally applicable to a public officer’s misconduct outside of the role.
The offence is triable only on indictment and conviction carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.
What Constitutes The Offence? | Kangs Criminal Advisory Team
The offence comprises four separate elements and is committed when:
- a public officer, acting as such
- wilfully neglects to perform his/her duty and/or wilfully misconducts him/herself
- to such a degree, as to amount to an abuse of trust in the office holder
- without reasonable excuse or justification.
The Prosecution must prove that the accused is a “public officer” for which description there is no fixed definition with each case being considered individually.
Examples of a ‘Public Officer’ | Kangs Criminal Defence Team
With the focus being placed on the type of role, the duties or obligations and the level of public trust or confidence involved, case law evidences the following roles fall within the definition:
- Local Councillor
- Police Officer
- Member of the Independent Monitoring Board for Prisons
- County Court Registrar
- HMRC Tax Officer
- Council Maintenance Officer
- Army Officer
How Can We Help? | Kangs Financial Fraud Solicitors
At Kangs Solicitors we are able to offer a wealth of experience in defending clients accused of involvement in all aspects of misconduct in a public office, fraud, bribery and corruption.
Should you become involved in or be accused of any allegations of misconduct in a public office and require any guidance and advice then please do not hesitate to contact our team, through any of our below mentioned solicitors who will be pleased to meet you for an initial free consultation.
If you have been invited to attend an interview with the Police force or any other Government agency we can provide a specialist Solicitor to represent you.
Who Can I Contact For Assistance? | Kangs Criminal Fraud Solicitors
Please do not hesitate to contact one of the following for an initial consultation: