What is a Confiscation Order?
Under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, the prosecution for your case is entitled to ask the court to make what is known as a ‘Confiscation Order’, if they think you have benefited from crime that has been committed.
A confiscation order is an order made to a convicted defendant, ordering them to pay the amount of benefit from the crime. A confiscation order does not involve assets, unlike a forfeiture order. It cannot take the defendant or anyone else’s title to any property or similar.
How Does a Confiscation Order Work?
In several cases, once there has been a conviction made, the prosecution will then seek a confiscation order from the defendant. For obvious reasons, this can affect and damage the individual in question and any connected third parties. Confiscation orders can be complicated and take a long time to resolve, depending on the case and nature of crime.
During DTA cases, the reviewing lawyer considers whether to apply for a confiscation order from the defendant. In CJA cases, the Central Confiscation Unit of the Organised Crime Division (CCU OCD) decides whether to make a confiscation order or not.
Many factors should be considered before this decision, including:
- Whether there is a victim
- Bankruptcy of the defendant
- The feasibility of enforcing a confiscation order
- Whether High Court action has been made to obtain a restraint order
- Carrying out a confiscation enquiry
How is a Confiscation Order Calculated?
If the Court decides that the defendant has benefited from a particular criminal activity, it must assess the ‘recoverable amount’ to be ordered with the confiscation. This recoverable amount would be equal to the defendant’s benefit from the activity.
If the defendant shows that the ‘available amount’ is less than that benefit obtained from the crime, then the recoverable amount will be assessed as the available amount, or a nominal amount if the amount available is nothing.
The available amount is calculated by adding the total of all the defendant’s assets (at the time the confiscation order is made), minus the value of any obligations that have priority and the total value (at the time the confiscation order is made) of any affected gifts. It can be complicated and confusing to understand, which is why Newton Law Practice is here to help.
Newton Law Practice and Confiscation Orders
Our specialist team of confiscation solicitors have a vast amount of experience challenging confiscation proceedings, right from the initial application, through to enforcement and applications to decrease the ‘available amount’.
Our confiscation solicitors can assist with confiscation orders and all of the following:
- Post confiscation
- Section 23 POCA Applications (to vary the available assets figure)
- Advising third parties who are involved in confiscation orders or restraint orders
- Representation in relation to pre-charge and post-charge restraint proceedings and every aspect of the confiscation order
- Cash seizure and forfeiture
- Preparing for contested cash seizure proceedings in the Magistrates’ Court
- Civil asset recovery
- And much more
Get in Touch with our Criminal Solicitors
Newton Law Practice have experienced criminal solicitors in Birmingham, London and Manchester. Confiscation proceedings can be very complicated and can sometimes be of greater importance to individuals than the initial criminal offences faced. It is of vital importance that defendants who face proceedings under POCA 2002 have the right professionals on their side.
Contact Newton Law Practice and you will have the reassurance of speaking to an experienced criminal defence solicitor without delay. Our team is on hand for expert legal advice, general enquiries and will also provide a free initial consultation. You can rest assured that we will help you every step of the way in criminal proceedings.