Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (POCA)
We are specialists in defending clients fighting action by the Prosecution under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (POCA) and are one of the few firms in Coventry and Warwickshire to have a specialist Proceeds of Crime Solicitor.
Ryan Downes and his team have saved our clients over £100 million and successfully defended post order enforcement proceedings, thereby protecting our clients from having default sentences activated or triggered for non-payment of Confiscation Orders.
As we are a full-service criminal law firm, we can also defend you on any charges related to POCA proceedings.
We are a diverse, multi-lingual law firm that uses best-in-class technology to provide clients with a streamlined, modern, and highly effective criminal defence. Furthermore, years of experience in criminal law means we have created relationships with some of the UK’s best Barristers and Queen’s Counsel. Our clients also benefit from our ability to instruct the country’s most respected expert witnesses who can provide the Court with the facts required to support a not guilty plea or mitigate the sentence handed down by a Judge.
Advising and representing people accused of committing a criminal offence
We are highly recommended as an expert criminal defence law firm for people accused of committing a crime and/or benefitting from the proceeds of crime. We are specialists in preparing our clients’ briefs and tailoring their defence to the specifics of their case. Our commitment to advising and representing our clients through the life-cycle of their criminal charges and developing an in-depth understanding of their circumstances has achieved exceptional results.
Our criminal law team has in-depth experience in defending serious criminal charges such as actions under POCA. We work with the country’s top expert witnesses and focus on providing you with advice and representation you can trust. We know that your reputation, financial security, and possibly your freedom is at stake – therefore, we never give up until every appeal has been exhausted.
Below are several common questions clients ask us concerning POCA.
What are proceeds of crime?
Under POCA 2002, if you have been found to have financially gained from a criminal offence you may face confiscation proceedings even after conviction, sentencing and serving time in prison. The Prosecution will assess any benefits gained and take steps to recover the amount from any assets that you have.
What is meant by a criminal lifestyle?
If you have been convicted of a criminal offence, the Prosecution in POCA proceedings will argue you have a ‘criminal lifestyle’. This means that you have committed a specified offence under the POCA 2002, you benefitted economically from a series of criminal activities, or the offence you have been convicted of was committed over six months or more.
If the Court rules you have a criminal lifestyle, the Prosecution can examine the last six years of your financial history to see if any other funds or assets may be linked to criminal activity. If they find it, they can confiscate it or demand you pay back the money.
What is the difference between the ‘benefit amount’ and the ‘available amount’?
The benefit amount is the sum that the Prosecution calculates you have made from criminal activity and the available amount refers to the funds you actually have (whether they be liquid or held in assets). If the available amount is less than the benefit amount, the Prosecution can make what is known as an Upward Order on the Confiscation Order. This means if your financial situation improves in the future, you can be made to pay the full benefit amount.
Prosecutors are notorious for overestimating/inflating the benefit amount. We will instruct forensic accountants to ensure that the figure they are presenting to the Court is accurate. We have a well-established record of reducing the benefit amount figure, thereby saving our clients’ thousands of pounds.
What are hidden assets?
If the Prosecution believes that you have deliberately concealed assets the burden is on you to prove otherwise. If you cannot show that there are no hidden assets to speak of, the Prosecution is likely to inflate the benefit amount figure.
To fight this tactic, you need specialist legal advice and representation. We will prove to the Court that no hidden assets exist, ensuring you do not receive any further penalties for non-payment.
Why choose us?
Regardless of the charges against you, you are entitled to a criminal defence. We do not judge our clients; our only objective is to defend you against the Prosecution’s allegations. Few law firms in the country have our experience and track record of success in POCA proceedings. Whether you have been convicted of offences relating to organised crime activities or white-collar fraud, we will work around the clock to protect your best interests. The most important factor is to contact us as soon as you become aware of the criminal charges brought against you.
To receive expert advice and representation regarding the Proceeds of Crime Act, please contact us using the form below.
Meet your 'Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (POCA)' specialists
The team to guide you through your legal needs.
Depending upon the complexity we are able to offer fixed fees in some cases. In other cases our solicitors chargethe following hourly rate:
- Partner/Member SolicitorHourly rate of £250 + VAT
- Senior Solicitor or Head of Dept: (PQE 8yr+)Hourly rate of £225 + VAT
- Assistant Solicitor/Fee Earner (PQE 3/7yr)Hourly rate of £200 + VAT
- Newly Qualified Fee Earner (PQE 1/3yr)Hourly rate of £170 + VAT
- Paralegals/TraineesHourly rate of £120 + VAT
- Support ParalegalsHourly rate of £100 + VAT