Since 2002, the law has permitted police officers or customs officials to seize cash above the value of £1,000 if they believe this money is going to be used in an illegal way or if they suspect that it has come from an illegal source. If you find yourself subject to cash seizure proceedings, this will undoubtedly be a stressful and confusing experience. In most cases, people are unsure about what steps authorities are permitted to take, and what the appropriate methods are for challenging the seizure of their money.
The Criminal Defence Team at Wilford Smith specialises in providing legal representation in relation to all accusations of financial crime, and can provide the strongest defence on behalf of those subject to confiscation proceedings, challenging the seizing of cash and helping you retain your assets. The law in respect of recovering the alleged proceeds of crime can be extremely harsh and in many cases will be strictly enforced, but you can be sure that our solicitors have the required skills, knowledge and determination to ruthlessly develop a top-level strategy on your behalf. Call us today to find out how we can help.
What is the law in respect of cash seizures?
The Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (POCA) gives authorities such as the police and customs officials the power to seize sums of cash of £1,000 or more, in any currency, cheques or bonds, if they have grounds for suspecting that it has come from, or is intended to be used to commit a crime. Once this cash has been seized it can then be detained for a period of up to 48 hours, after which the Magistrates’ Court requires to be satisfied that the grounds for suspicion are reasonable. If the Court decides that the seizure is reasonable and that the continued detention of the money is justified for the purpose of completing investigations into its source and intended use, the cash will continue to be held by the authorities. Dependent upon the outcome of an investigation following a cash seizure, an application may subsequently be made by prosecutors for forfeiture under POCA.
How can cash seizures be challenged?
If you are subject to a cash seizure under POCA, it is essential that you seek legal advice as soon as possible to give yourself the strongest chance of successfully challenging the detention of your money. It is regularly the case that cash seizures are made following a raid by police on an individual’s home or
business premises. The solicitors at Wilford Smith are available to our clients at all times, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, so that you can receive the best possible legal advice as soon as you need it.
In many cases, clients will seek to challenge a cash seizure on the basis that the money is from a legitimate source, or by claiming that they are the rightful owner of cash that has been seized from another party or associated premises. If an individual is able to prove that money has not been illegally procured or intended for a criminal purpose, then they will be able to recover it. The Criminal Defence Solicitors at Wilford Smith, with many years of experience in representing clients in relation to alleged financial crimes, are best placed to help you recover any seized cash.
Contact our Cash Seizure Defence Solicitors in England and Wales Today
Wilford Smith's Criminal Defence Team has an established reputation for unique representation, providing a service that is highly strategic and results driven. Our solicitors appear in court regularly, and with years of experience in handling money laundering and proceeds of crime cases on behalf of our clients, we are best placed to advise you on challenging cash seizures, forfeiture and confiscation orders. We are able to attract the highest calibre barristers to provide support when necessary.
The solicitors at Wilford Smith are committed to providing a high-level, client-focused and highly personal service, developing a top-level strategy to ensure the best possible outcome for you in any case. We know how distressing a criminal investigation can be and will ensure that you are given clear, sympathetic, and straightforward advice.
Our specialist Criminal Defence Solicitors are based in Sheffield and London and advise and represent clients from across England and Wales. Contact us today on 01709 828 044 to find out how we can help.