What is a Confiscation Order?
Under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, the prosecution can ask the court to make what is known as a ‘Confiscation Order’ if they think you have benefited from crime. This means they can ask you to pay back money that they say has come from your crime. This type of order can only be made when you have been convicted of, or pleaded guilty to, an ‘acquisitive’ crime and are going to be sentenced in the Crown Court. An acquisitive crime is one that you could have made money from such as theft, drug dealing or fraud.
When considering what you have to pay, the court will have to decide how much you made from committing the offence, and what money you have available to pay it back. The court can order you to sell your possessions to pay for the order, even if you bought them legitimately. You have the right to challenge how much the prosecution say you made from crime, and how much you have available to pay it back, but it is up to you to prove it.
If you have been convicted of an offence specified in Schedule 2 of the Proceeds of Crime Act, such as Money Laundering, or if you have been convicted of offences over a longer period of time, the court can decide you have a ‘criminal lifestyle.’ This means that the court will assume that any property you have bought and money you have made over the last six years has come from crime, unless you can prove otherwise.
At Emeryjohnson we have considerable experience dealing with Confiscation Orders and can provide you with expert legal advice and representation from the Police Station all the way through the court process. If you need advice please contact our Crime Team on 0116 255 4855.