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Cash and asset forfeiture / cash seizure
Under the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA), police and other authorities can seize cash and assets that are owned by you or found in your possession if they believe that cash or those assets have been acquired through criminal activity. You do not need to have been found guilty of a crime and regaining access to your property can be very difficult without the right legal support.
Our criminal defence team are highly experienced in supporting people who have had cash and assets seized by police, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), Serious Fraud Office (SFO) or the National Crime Agency (NCA). We know how distressing it can be to have your property seized and how disruptive an effect it can have on your life and your ability to provide for your family. Our lawyers have a very strong track record of resisting applications for the forfeiture of seized assets and have been able, in the past, to secure the recovery of property that has been taken by police and other authorities.
We have strong expertise in establishing the legitimate sources of your cash and assets to prevent them being seized or to secure their return. If you have been found guilty of a crime, we can also ensure that the value of any proceeds of that crime is calculated correctly in law, so you are not unfairly penalised.
If you have had cash or assets seized or believe this is a likely possibility, please get in touch with our experienced team immediately to discuss how we can help you.
Our expertise in defending cash and asset forfeiture
JD Spicer Zeb’s criminal defence solicitors have years of experience and a deep understanding of how Proceeds of Crime Act proceedings work. We can offer the legal and financial expertise, as well as the strong personal support that you need, to see you through this difficult time and get the best possible outcome for you and your family.
Working with many of the country’s leading defence barristers and forensic accountants specialising in cash and asset seizure and forfeiture, we can ensure you have access to all of the skills, knowledge and expert representation you need for every stage of your case.
Our team speak a variety of languages and we work with a number of accredited interpreters, so no matter your background, we can make sure you have clear, effective advice and representation, allowing you to protect your legitimate assets.
Our cash and asset forfeiture defence services
Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) confiscations
POCA allows government agencies to seize and seek forfeiture of your cash and assets, even if you have not been found guilty of any crime or where criminal proceedings are still ongoing. For many of the clients we work with, this is a much more serious punishment than any sentence they might receive.
Clients typically are given no warning about such proceedings; the first you will know of a seizure may be when police or other government officers turn up at your home or place of business. If this occurs, we can offer immediate support to help you keep access to your cash and assets where possible or to minimise the value of cash and assets you will lose where proceedings cannot be avoided.
Money laundering & asset freezing
If you are suspected of involvement in money laundering, the authorities can freeze or seize any accounts and/or assets they believe may have been involved in such activity.
Proving that your assets come from legitimate sources can be challenging, but our team is highly experienced in doing so. This means we can help you secure access to your accounts and assets as quickly as possible and prevent forfeiture wherever we can.
There can be many reasons why you might have money in cash at your home or business, but unfortunately government agencies will often assume any large amounts of cash are the proceeds of crime and seize them.
By working with forensic accountants and other experts, we can help to show where the cash came from, even where you have limited records that may otherwise make this hard to prove.
Section 22 applications
One of the most worrying aspects of the POCA proceedings that can occur after conviction is that, under Section 22 of the Act, the amount you are considered to have benefitted from your offending, and hence owe the state, can be increased if new information becomes available that the police, CPS, SFO or other agencies did not have when the original confiscation order was made.
This means that the threat of having further assets seized will continue to hang over your head for years to come. We can advise you on the steps you need to take to minimise the risk of future confiscations, in particular making sure the original confiscation order is dealt with as accurately as possible. This can help to allow you to move forward with your life without having to constantly worry about having further assets seized.
In many cases it is possible to recover assets seized by police. There are various strategies that can be used to achieve that, but our approach will often hinge on two key strategies:
- Establishing the legitimate source of your case and assets.
- Ensuring the value of any benefit you are alleged to have received from criminal activity is properly calculated.
A key point to understand about POCA proceedings is that the burden of proof is on you to show evidence of where your assets have come from. This means that the authorities can effectively claim that any or all of the cash and assets you own are derived from criminal activity. It is down to you to prove otherwise.
We work with forensic accountants and other highly skilled professionals to demonstrate where your cash and assets came from and, in particular, that it was not from crime. Given how complex these matters often are, being able to present detailed information about the sources of your income is often critical to defending a seizure or forfeiture.
Where you have been found guilty of a crime, we will ensure the what the law determines to be the benefit of that crime is calculated accurately, so you do not end up losing more than you absolutely have to. This can significantly reduce the amount you are required to forfeit and allow you to secure the return of cash and assets that have been seized. We have a very strong track record of securing significant reductions in the amounts payable.
Contact our cash and asset forfeiture defence lawyers today
For urgent specialist advice, immediate representation or to speak to us confidentially about cash and asset forfeiture or cash seizure, please do not hesitate to get in touch.
You can contact our dedicated Proceeds of Crime Act defence lawyers in London, Birmingham, and Manchester by telephone on:
- Brent & Camden London Office: 020 7624 7771
- Manchester Office: 0161 835 1638
- Birmingham Office: 0121 614 3333
- City of London: 0207 624 7771 (our senior Solicitors and Partners can meet by appointment in the City)
Or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Alternatively, you can fill out our quick online enquiry form, and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
Need urgent representation for a cash and asset forfeiture?
For immediate representation and advice on dealing with Proceedings of Crime Act proceedings anywhere in England or Wales at any time, please contact our Emergency Number: 07836 577 556.
For new serious cases you can email a senior partner/lawyer directly by clicking here. When you call us you can request a call back or meeting the same day with a senior partner/lawyer or Barrister.