The Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 are ancillary proceedings to a conviction with the objective of confiscating your assets or in some way restraining them.
The Court must consider making a confiscation order against the Defendant if;
- The Defendant has been convicted of an offence or offences in the Crown Court or has been committed to the Crown Court for sentence or to be considered for a compensation order; and
- The prosecutor requests that the Court considers making a confiscation order, or the Court believes that it is appropriate to consider making a confiscation order.
These orders will almost always be considered on drug trafficking offences and fraud cases. The Court must determine whether the Defendant has a “criminal lifestyle”. If so, the Court must determine whether the Defendant benefitted from his “general criminal conduct”. The Court when determining these matters must do so on the balance of probabilities and not to the criminal standard of proof.
The Court can also consider restraining orders and freezing orders to prevent a person subject to a criminal investigation or criminal proceedings dealing with any realisable property to prevent the dissipation of assets subject to the confiscation order being made.
When a confiscation order is made and the Defendant has six months to pay. If the Defendant does not pay they will go to prison.
Our firm has been successful in Proceeds of Crime proceedings by challenging the amount stated by the prosecution as being subject of a confiscation order.
Case examples we have dealt with
IN R V W 2013 – Barrow crown court
We challenged the sum of over £30,000.00 and negotiated this to a confiscation order being made in the sum of £8,000.00.
R V C – Preston crown court
Only last month in R v C the Crown was seeking to recover £18,000.00 from the proceeds of crime after a drugs case. We challenged this and the Defendant was ordered to pay £6,500.00.