If you or your business has been pulled into a criminal investigation, you may now be struggling because of confiscation or restraint proceedings.
The Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 criminalises the use of any assets (e.g. money, shares and goods) that have been acquired through criminal means such as bribery and tax evasion, and any benefits obtained by a business that has failed to adhere to UK law.
If restraint or confiscation orders have been made against you or your company, the experienced solicitors at First4lawyers will be able to advise you on your rights and fight your corner throughout the legal process.
What are restraint proceedings?
Restraint proceedings involve freezing assets prior to any subsequent confiscation hearing. This power does not just apply to those subject to arrest or charges. In fact, anyone who finds themselves part of a criminal investigation may have their assets frozen by a restraint order.
What is a confiscation order?
A confiscation order is an order made by a court at the end of a confiscation hearing, which is usually brought under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.
The purpose is to remove profit from crime. It does this by allowing the Crown to impound anything which it believes to be – or obtained using – the proceeds of crime.
What are the effects of restraint proceedings?
If you are subject to a restraint order, it may make it impossible for you to do everyday things like pay your mortgage, or run your business.
An order will also require you (and sometimes your spouse or business partner) to provide in-depth information about your financial affairs. If you or anyone else involved fails to comply, prosecutors may seek to find you in contempt of court.
If I am subject to a restraint or confiscation order – what can I pay for?
Restraint and confiscation orders generally allow the defendant to have 'reasonable living expenses’ and ‘reasonable legal expenses’. However, reasonable legal expenses do not include those related to the criminal proceedings that have resulted in the freezing of your assets. As a result, you will have to seek things such as third-party funding to fight your confiscation order.
I’ve had my assets seized under the Proceeds of Crime Act - what can you do for me?
To understand your rights and fight your case effectively, we recommend you contact legal professionals, such as those available through First4lawyers, as soon as you can.
Here at First4lawyers, we are experts with a detailed knowledge of the law around confiscation and restraint proceedings. Did you know, if the prosecution does not handle your case properly and within the letter of the law, the court may be compelled to overturn your case and return your frozen assets?
This is a very specialist area of law and it is important your legal team has detailed knowledge of such matters. For this reason, we will only ever assign experienced lawyers to your case.
The experts at First4lawyers are ready for you call.