The Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (‘POCA’) enables the Prosecution to freeze an individual’s assets, even before bringing any criminal charges. They do so by applying to the court for a Restraint Order. Also they have the power to seize any cash found during their investigations. A Restraint Order will freeze property that may be subsequently confiscated. This means that you will not be able to sell or transfer property until the restraint order is lifted.
Even if you are found not guilty, these measures can affect you and the people around you, for example your spouse or business partner, as assets can be frozen for a considerable length of time.
A confiscation order is only awarded following a conviction to ensure that no one benefits from the proceeds of crime. The amount confiscated is determined by the court and depends on how much is thought to have come from criminal activities.
If you are served with a Restraint Order, you will need to receive specialist legal advice as a response will usually be required.
To contact our confiscation law solicitors, please phone our office on 0207 281 1001. You can also email us at email@example.com