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Proceeds of Crime Act PoCA
If you have been convicted of a criminal offence, you may also face proceedings under the Proceeds of Crime Act (PoCA) to seize your assets. This law is extremely strict and requires you to prove that you did not obtain assets as a result of criminal activity. Without the assistance of a legal specialist, you could be at risk of losing everything.
Renshaw Derrick is a leading firm of criminal defence solicitors based in Bournemouth, Dorset. If you are facing restraint or confiscation proceedings under PoCA, we can provide detailed advice about the steps you can take to minimise the impact on your life.
We will provide a vigorous defence to challenge the prosecuting authority’s assertions about the benefits of crime you have obtained and take all possible steps to preserve your liberty, your reputation and your future financial security. With us by your side, you can trust that your legal rights will be robustly protected.
What is the Proceeds of Crime Act?
Proceeds of crime are assets (money and property) acquired during the course of criminal activity.
The Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (PoCA) gives authorities, such as the Crown Prosecution Service, powers to confiscate proceeds of crime so that a person convicted of a criminal offence cannot benefit from their wrongdoing. Authorities have wide-ranging recovery powers to apply for court orders, seize assets and force people to permanently forfeit their assets. These powers of recovery include:
- Restraint Orders – to freeze a suspect’s assets until the authority has succeeded in further action to confiscate them.
- Confiscation Orders – to order a convicted person to pay a specified amount of money. This sum of money is determined to be the value obtained by the person during the course of their criminal activity (often referred to as the “benefit”).
The effect of a Confiscation Order is far-reaching and lifelong. Even if you do not have any assets now, if you acquire any in future, the Order can give the authority the power to seize them.
Confiscation proceedings are not like ordinary criminal proceedings – the burden of proof is not on the prosecuting authority to prove you acquired your assets through crime but on you to prove that you didn’t. If you cannot disprove these allegations, the court will make the Confiscation Order. And if you fail to pay the amount due under the Confiscation Order, you could face a prison sentence.
What our PoCA solicitors in Bournemouth can do for you
We will act swiftly to defend your legal rights and challenge the Restraint Order, Confiscation Order, or the “benefit” figure posed by the prosecuting authority.
We fully understand the intricacies of the law on proceeds of crime and the impact it can have on ordinary people’s lives. We know that facing these allegations can be daunting, but with us by your side, you will have the best possible chance of achieving a positive outcome.
Many of our clients come to us after being convicted of criminal offences such as:
- Money laundering
- Tax evasion
- Drugs offences
- Robbery and theft
However, we can assist you whatever crime you have been convicted of.
Why choose Renshaw Derrick’s criminal defence solicitors?
Our team have years of practical experience handling PoCA cases involving all types of complex assets, including real property, pensions, trusts, and overseas assets. As a firm, we are members of the Law Society Criminal Litigation Accreditation Scheme for our high level of knowledge and strong track record of achieving positive results for our clients.
Every member of our team is a skilled legal professional, each with their own specialist area of expertise. For example, Leah Dillon – a solicitor and dedicated criminal defence lawyer – previously worked at the Crown Prosecution Service and Customs and Excise, giving her unique insight into the perspective of prosecuting authorities. For more information about each member of our team, please feel free to visit Our People page.