A Restraint Order is issued under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (POCA). It is utilised by prosecuting authorities wishing to freeze assets and prohibit the dealings of those assets, believed to represent the proceeds of crime, with a view to preserving them in anticipation that they may become available to meet a Confiscation Order, in any subsequent Confiscation Proceedings, which may follow a criminal trial.
They are often made ex-parte, in other words without notice in private and prior to any actual criminal charges being brought.
Restraint Orders can be brought against individuals, businesses or associated third parties including family members.
ABV Solicitors have a dedicated and experienced team who are able to assist with the following;
- Challenging all pre - charge and post- charge Restraint Orders
- Cash Seizure and Asset Forfeiture
- Confiscation including the representation of third parties effected by Confiscation or Restraint Orders
- Applications by the Prosecution to re-consider the Available Amount
- Applications for Certificates of Inadequacy
- Powers granted to institutions under the Criminal Finance Act 2017 to recover assets.
The effects of the Restraint Order can be profound and devastating. It is essential that professional advice is sought immediately.
ABV Solicitors have a team of experienced defence lawyers who are able to provide specialist Restraint Order and POCA advice and assistance around the clock.
Restraint Orders often compel those served with the Orders, within a very short time scale usually (21 days) to provide the authorities with witness statements and material in the possession of third parties including banks and other financial institutions. This will inevitably take time to arrange and organise prior to submission.
These responses must be properly managed as the information provided may be used in any subsequent criminal or civil prosecution. Any false statements could result in additional charges being brought including Perverting the Course of Justice.
A pro-active approach is crucial. An application to extend the deadline for submission of the relevant information must be considered depending on the extent of the material and information that is required to be submitted.
We have the expertise and a successful track record to be able to negotiate with the prosecution authorities, including the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and apply to vary the Restraint Order to say allow money to be used to continue to pay outgoings and to increase the initial small allowance permitted within the Order to be able to meet your reasonable living expenses.
We can also apply to the Court to have the Restraint Order discharged if the circumstance warrant it.
Non-compliance with a Restraint Order is a Contempt of Court and can result in immediate imprisonment.
In some serious and complex cases especially when dealing with businesses and corporations the Restraint Order can be accompanied with a Management Receiver Order to help with uninterrupted trade and limit the disruption to these businesses.
The Restraint Orders can also be accompanied with Disclosure Orders, Receivership Orders, Production Orders, Customer Information Orders and Account Monitoring Orders.
Our experts will advise you every step of the way and deal with the complete legal process from start to finish. We will do everything possible to minimise the serious disruption to the lives of those effected by the Restraint Order.