If you are convicted of a criminal offence, particularly one where it is found that you have benefited financially, confiscation proceedings may be commenced against you.
Confiscation proceedings are serious. Should an inaccurate Order be made against you, and you are unable to pay it, you are likely to be imprisoned for a further period, which can be anything up to 14 years. Additionally, the money, together with any interest accumulated on it, will still be owed, ensuring a lifelong inability to obtain any form of credit or mortgage.
It is therefore imperative that you choose the right solicitor. We have experience of dealing with all types of confiscation proceedings from their inception, all the way through to enforcement and the appointment of Receivers. We accept instructions on matters such as the relatively simple theft from employer to complicated confiscation matters with allegations of assets dissipated to different jurisdictions and various bank accounts.
Particularly in serious or high value confiscation matters, or where there is evidence of the movement of monies outside of the jurisdiction, the prosecution may assert that you have ‘hidden assets’. In effect they claim that you have more assets that those which you are claiming to own. Unlike in criminal cases, the burden is on you to disprove that you have these assets. Here at Imran Khan and Partners we have achieved countless outstanding results for client’s who have had such assertions made against them.
We are able to instruct some of the best financial and forensic experts throughout the country to assist your case in convincing the Court that you have been truthful in providing details of your assets and that you have not dissipated these assets so as to render them unavailable to satisfy any possible Confiscation Order. Once again, it is vital that you choose the correct solicitor as an inaccurate Confiscation Order will almost inevitability lead to the imposition of a ‘default sentence’ by the Court, meaning more time in prison for failing to pay the Order.
We also enjoy exceptionally close working relationships with some of the top confiscation barrister’s throughout the country. We are able to provide a first class service, with regular conferences both with experts and counsel where this is necessary. Out contacts ensure that not only will you get the right solicitor, but we will be able to choose the correct barrister to suit your matter.
UK legislation allows the authorities to apply for the assets of an individual or company to be frozen pending the outcome of any criminal investigation. We are able to liaise with the authorities and apply to the Court to secure variations of these Orders ensuring you, or your business, can continue to function on a day to day basis. We understand that family members are often affected by Restraint Orders, and we therefore work tirelessly to ensure that they are affected to as lesser degree as possible.
Varying Confiscation Orders
The work doesn’t stop at the making of an Order. Once made, we work to assist clients in realising their assets, and paying monies over to the Confiscation Unit in satisfaction of the Order. This work is particularly helpful for those clients who are serving prison sentences and therefore find it difficult to be as pro-active as they would wish on their case.
Need More Time? (Section 11 Applications)
Under the legislation, the Court is permitted to grant you up to 6 months to satisfy a Confiscation Order. The clock begins to tick on the day the Order is made. If you have not had the benefit of a full 6 months, we may be able to assist you in applying to the Court to extend your ‘time to pay’ up to this maximum.
Certificates of Inadequacy (‘Section 23’ Applications)
Increasingly popular, we can assist you in applying to the Court to have a Confiscation Order set aside or amended on the basis that your available amount in inadequate to satisfy the Order. These applications are particularly useful when assets such as houses or vehicles are sold to satisfy an Order, their value having decreased since the date the Confiscation Order was made.
Acting for Third Parties
Often in Confiscation Proceedings, Orders are sought over assets which do not belong to the Defendant. We are able to Act for third parties in ensuring that their legal interest, particularly in houses, is protected. The Serious Crime Act 2015 amended the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002. It gives third parties, often family members, the right to be heard at court before the Order is made. It is important that you make this voice heard. If the Court are satisfied that you knew the hearing was taking place, and you declined to attend, you may be bound by the finding of that Court. The practical implication of this is that your interest in an asset may not be taken into account and that asset could be used to pay any Confiscation Order.
Even when an Order has been made and you have not been able to satisfy it within the period set out by the Court, we can assist you at the stage where the Prosecution are intending to apply to activate your ‘sentence in default’ or where they seek to appoint Receivers to realise your assets. We can attend the Magistrates’ Court and persuade the court that you should not be sent to prison for not paying the Order.