If you’re involved in a case where a restraint order is imposed and confiscation proceedings will commence, you’ll understandably fee stressed and anxious. You may even be suffering from depression and sleepless nights as the severity of the situation becomes apparent. If you have financial commitments such as a mortgage payment to make, or you have dependents who rely on your income, you’ll be under pressure as you wonder how to meet your commitments with the impact of the restraint order and of course, panic over what will happen if confiscation proceedings are successful.
This is a challenging time and it’s a time to call in a competent solicitor who can give you the support you need and relief from the anguish and worry.
Being part of an investigation of this nature is of course very stressful. The effect it can have on your life, your well-being and your family and relationships makes it all the more critical that you choose a solicitor who has the skills and knowledge to help.
Pro-active advice, effective representation, methodical analysis, specialist barristers and substantial knowledge of finances are only some of the qualities necessary to defend these proceedings successfully.
The best person to assist is an expert fraud solicitor with day to day experience of dealing with restraint orders and confiscation proceedings. Using their understanding of the complexities of the law, they may even be able to get your case stayed before it reaches the confiscation stages. This will prevent you from going through the financial pain and difficulty that confiscation proceedings can bring about and the daily struggles that restraint orders introduce.
On this page we have listed a number of questions that our clients will typically ask when they are facing litigation involving restraint orders and confiscation proceedings. If you have a question and seek an answer that you cannot find here, feel free to contact us for a no obligation chat and we will provide you with the answer you need. We are here to help and happy to do so.
Are you affected by Restraint Orders and confiscation proceedings?
If you or somebody close to you is affected by restraint orders or confiscation proceedings, there has likely been an allegation for a serious crime. This crime may be something along the lines of money laundering, fraud, drug offences or another crime that involves making financial gain from unlawful activity.
It’s vital that you now seek specialist legal assistance to protect your interests. You are probably feeling very stressed, confused, worried and concerned about what’s going to happen. This is completely understandable. Getting legal support now may even turn things around.
Being able to support dependents is important to everybody. By taking legal support, you are likely to be able to attain a far better outcome than without doing so. Confiscation solicitors know how to obtain the best possible outcomes.
What type of situations lead to restraint orders and confiscation proceedings
Prosecutors can apply to put a restraint on all your funds and then to take back any income that has been accrued during the time that the financial crime took place.
Restraint orders and confiscation proceedings are imposed by the crown court when financial gain has occurred as part of the crime, or when the criminal assets have been laundered.
Not an automatic event, restraint orders and confiscation proceedings have to be applied for, and they are usually requested at the start and closure of the case.
Working with the police, a financial investigation officer will write a statement detailing his suspicions on the benefits you may have had from the criminal activity and he will seek to have these assets restrained and then, if you are convicted, confiscated.
The criminal benefit is not just about the profits that are gained from committing a crime such as drug dealing, it is also the indirect profits. An example of this is when the value of a property increases that was purchased with a fraudulent mortgage. It may also be the competitive advantage gained by a business by breaching the bribery act.
The criminal benefit can be divided into two main types:
- The benefit from the actual criminal conduct
- The benefit gained from general criminal conduct
If you don’t agree with the figure that is produced on the statement, or you feel it is too much for you to be able to pay, then you can challenge the figures. This is one of the main reasons why it’s vital to engage an expert confiscation proceedings solicitor.
You are going to need to persuade the court that you did not enjoy a criminal lifestyle and can lawfully account for any gains made during the period that you were involved in criminal activities. You may also be able to secure a reduction by persuading the court that you cannot afford to repay the figure.
Sometimes there are flaws in the order such as when a prosecutor has misled the court and the numbers have been inflated or miscalculated.
Who applies for restraint and confiscation orders?
The crown prosecution service typically applies to the court for restraint orders and confiscation proceedings can be issued on the volition of the court itself. The court then must decide whether the person did benefit from their criminal activities. The court will then assume that your assets are the proceeds of crime unless you can prove otherwise.
When are restraint Orders imposed?
Restraint orders can be put into place even before you are ever arrested for an offence. This is to ensure that you don’t have the opportunity to dissipate the assets before they can be confiscated.
Sometimes, restraint orders will be imposed during the investigation or the prosecution. Much depends on the risk the police feel of the money being withdrawn and spent.
When do Confiscation Proceedings Start?
Confiscation proceedings can only start after you have pleaded guilty or been found guilty of an offence for which confiscation proceedings are allowed by law. A list of these offences can be found in schedule 2 of the proceeds of Crime Act 2002.
If the offence is not prescribed in schedule 2 of the proceeds of Crime Act, there is another route the prosecution may use under Section 75 of the proceeds of Crime Act 2002.
In any event, the judge will either order the confiscation proceedings himself or the prosecution will ask for them to commence and the judge then cannot deny the request unless there is legal reason for doing so.
Instruct a legal professional as soon as possible
Whether you have been served with a restraint order or confiscation proceedings have commenced against you; we recommend that you engage a specialist confiscation solicitor to support you immediately.
Not doing so will not help your case, and it won’t help you as a person who is having to endure a very challenging experience. Your dependents may get a better outcome from having an experienced criminal solicitor look at your case and find ways to craft an influential defence and an improvement on the financial details of the restraint order.
What should you do if you are given a restraint Order or confiscation proceedings have started?
Criminal law can be complicated, and without knowing the rules inside out and having the experience, it is hard to defend against.
It’s essential to engage with a competent confiscation solicitor who has experience in the field of restraint orders, confiscation proceedings and confiscation orders. They know how to challenge the restraint orders at the very earliest opportunity and allow you the freedom to spend your money as you wish and they have deep experience of reducing confiscation figures.
The first step they will take is to work through what you need to handle your everyday outgoings and to collect proof of this for the judge. Having to battle with the authorities over access to your own assets is frustrating and tiring. It’s vital that both the restraint order and the confiscation proceedings are handled well so that its longevity and impact is the most positive and least destructive and damaging as it can be.
The restraint order will prevent any unnecessary expenditure and the confiscation proceedings will detail how much you will have to pay back from your assets.
Our confiscation solicitors keep current with changes in the law and are familiar with what makes a strong defence strategy. By engaging one of our team, you will have access to the best defence and advice. We will support you throughout the entire process and ensure that you get the best outcome.
Can the police search my home?
The police can search your home as part of your case if they are seeking evidence. A magistrate or judge can grant a search warrant and the police as law enforcements officers will carry through the search. The search for proof will extend beyond the physical location of your home and may involve the examination of your vehicle, your place of work and also your smartphone, email, text messages, telephone calling history and more.
How Can Stuart Miller Solicitors Help?
Our restraint and confiscation solicitors have a significantly successful history of not only defeating and limiting what happens during proceedings of this nature, but the impact that they can have on clients and their families.
Our proceedings have been some of the largest and most complex of recent times. They have involved HMRC, SFO (Serious Fraud office), Revenue and Customs, FSA, CPS and other agencies.
Our clients include both individuals and major corporations. We have commercial expertise and also understand how these proceedings can affect a family.
Given the constant changes and updates to restraint and confiscation laws, you will require lawyers who are real specialists with the field and totally up to date with the developments and the strategies which a defence lawyer can use to push a positive defence case.
Booking a free consultation with our restraint and confiscation Solicitors
We understand that being the subject of an investigation is a stressful time for our clients and choosing the right lawyer is of paramount importance. We therefore offer free, no obligation consultations to discuss your case and provide preliminary advice.
Please contact us and ask to speak to our restraint and confiscation lawyers to arrange a meeting.
Would you like to discuss your case before instructing us?
If you’d like to have a no obligation chat with us before you instruct us to take your case, then contact us today.
We can provide you with a free consultation, and can also represent you at the police station if you’ve been arrested or you’ve been asked to attend a police interview. We can also look at securing your legal aid.
Please contact us for a face to face meeting or a telephone call. There is a WhatsApp link on this page if that is your preference.