If you have been convicted of a crime that can lead to confiscation you need expert confiscation, Proceeds of Crime Solicitors.
Confiscation Solicitors Leeds
Whiterose Blackmans Solicitors are Commonly once there is a conviction (after trial or a guilty plea) the prosecution will seek a Confiscation Order. A Confiscation Order does not always only affect the individual in question and we are regularly instructed to act for connected third parties too.
Our solicitors are experienced in dealing with confiscation cases from the initial application through to enforcement.
Perhaps you have had your trial and you hoped the outcome would be positive. But now you have lost and the prosecution are saying you have a criminal lifestyle. They want to confiscate not just the money they say you made as a result of the crime but want to investigate all the money and assets you have.
In certain offences the prosecution can say that your wealth has come from a criminal lifestyle and apply to the court to confiscate assets you own. This can include your home, cars, and bank accounts. If you do not have the funds to pay it then you can be sent to prison in default of payment and still owe the money.
POCA – Proceeds of Crime Act
At Whiterose Blackmans Solicitors we have expert crime solicitors who are experienced in dealing with cases involving confiscation orders under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (POCA). We are often asked to take over cases after a conviction so that we can deal with the confiscation proceedings. Our reputation in this area is growing and we are often recommended by those we are already representing. We have experience in civil liberties matters and human rights.
Businesses and individuals can both be affected by the Restraint provisions of the Proceeds of Crime Act. These restraint provisions can include:
- Freezing of assets at the beginning of a criminal investigation, before any criminal charges are brought. Applications are made by the prosecution without notice to the individual.
- Freezing of assets of an individual and/or connected third parties and/or companies. This can have an international application where relevant.
- Court ordered statements of truth requestin information in detail of assets & transfers over many years
- Court ordered requests for the immediate disclosure of assets both in the UK and abroad
- Repatriation of assets abroad e.g. return of assets to the UK
- Appointment of Management Receivers to trace and recover assets
- Production Orders to obtain personal records
- Contempt proceedings for alleged non-cooperation
- Orders which seek to limit living expenses and business expenditure.
Our Criminal Law Solicitors are experienced in advising on the following:
- Applications to discharge Restraint Orders
- Variation of restraint orders
- Releasing third party assets
When a Confiscation Order is made in the Crown Court, the court will direct that this is paid within a specified time limit and set a period of imprisonment in default if this is not paid on time and in full. If a Confiscation Order has not been paid, in whole or in part, Enforcement Proceedings can be initiated in the Magistrate’s Court.
Our Solicitors can assist in all aspects of Enforcement proceedings, including:
- Representation in the Magistrates Court
- Negotiating certificates of inadequacy/variations despite the findings made in the original hearings in the Crown Court
- Challenge appointment of Receivers to sell assets
- Challenge applications for the default sentence to be executed
- Applications to extend time to pay
- Negotiating additional time to pay even beyond the statutory time limits, having the effect of delaying enforcement proceedings
- Discharge and variation of confiscation orders
- Advice on appeal of the confiscation order
Acting for Third Parties
Restraint and Confiscation Orders and Enforcement Proceedings can impact on innocent third parties in some circumstances too. Our Solicitors are experienced in acting for third parties in all aspects of restraint and confiscation
Cash Seizure Detention & Forfeiture
These powers affect anyone found with in excess of £1000 in cash. We can assist with:
- A Detention Order being made by the Magistrates’ Court to allow the police to hold it for up to two years whilst they investigate
- A Forfeiture Order by the magistrates court unless the individual can prove the cash was from a legitimate source and for a legitimate purpose
- This applies even if the cash belongs to someone else — and it is very difficult for that third party to be heard to get their cash back
- Recovery of costs issues
Civil recovery proceedings are usually brought when a prosecuting agency believes that an individual or a company has assets that were acquired through criminal conduct but does not have enough evidence to bring a criminal case against them. However, civil recovery proceedings can also be brought even where a defendant has been previously acquitted in the Crown Court.
As these are civil proceedings there is no requirement for a jury to be satisfied beyond reasonable doubt but merely for the court to be satisfied on the balance of probabilities that the assets are the proceeds of crime. We can assist with the analysing the evidence, collating evidence to enable us to negotiate with the investigating authority. We have an extensive pool of experts to assist if required.
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