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Confiscation Orders Update

Serious Crime Defence Solicitors Manchester

The Serious Crime Act 2015, which came into force on 1st June 2015, gives enforcement agencies the powers to pursue, disrupt and bring to justice those engaged in serious and organised crime.

The Act also amends the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 in relation to confiscation proceedings which includes amendments to the extent of a defendant’s interest in proceeds of crime, third party interests, and the time-frame for payment in respect of confiscation proceedings.

Third-Party Interests in Property

Previous to the new Act, third parties who have an interest in property in which the defendant also has an interest were unable to play a part in the confiscation proceedings until the enforcement stage. As third-party claims on assets were often considered by the courts for the first time at this late stage, in many cases this had the effect of frustrating the enforcement of the order.

Crown Courts have now been given powers to make a ruling determining the defendant’s interest in the property, where a third party also has an interest. The Crown Court must allow third parties to make representations to the court regarding their interests in the property or asset in question and as such, third party interests are considered at a much earlier stage in the proceedings than they were under the old law.

Time to Pay Extension

The time for a defendant to pay when a Compensation order has been made has been extended by a further six months. This means a defendant will have up to one year before to produce the funds before enforcement action is instigated by the Confiscation Unit and interest is applied to the outstanding amount. Defendants were previously given just three months to pay with the possibility to apply for an extension for a further three months, giving them a maximum of just six months in which to pay.

Previously under POCA, the court imposed a period of imprisonment where a defendant is in default of the order. The sentence was considered on a ‘sliding scale’. with twelve incremental bands dependent on the amount outstanding under the order, with set maximum periods of imprisonment in default. There are now only four incremental bands. Where a defendant owes an amount of up to £10,000, a maximum sentence of six months’ imprisonment may be imposed. For amounts over £10,000 but not exceeding £500,000, up to five years’ imprisonment may be imposed. For amounts over £500,000 but not exceeding £1,000,000, seven years may be imposed and where amounts exceed £1 million up to fourteen years’ imprisonment may be imposed.

Expert Criminal Defence Solicitors Manchester

When facing allegations for serious crime, it’s crucial you have the support of highly skilled and specialist defence lawyers who will protect your rights and interests. Here, at Stephen Lickrish & Associates, we work discretely and proactively to provide our clients with the best possible defence and representation. Such cases can have very serious consequences for those involved and early representation is highly advisable.

Stephen Lickrish & Associates’ expert solicitors have over fifty years’ combined experience defending clients in a wide variety of serious crime cases. Our team have an excellent reputation for securing positive outcomes for our clients. When facing investigation or prosecution for a serious criminal offence, it’s vital to have the support of highly skilled and specialist defence lawyers who will protect your rights and interests. Here, at Stephen Lickrish & Associates, we work discretely and proactively to provide our clients with the best possible defence and representation.

We are a Manchester based law firm, and serve clients across the whole of England and Wales. Contact us today by calling us at 0161 237 1913 or on 0800 988 64 22 for 24-hour legal advice. Alternatively, complete our online enquiry form, and a member of our team will be in touch with you shortly.

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