POCA Restraint Order Solicitors
If you have been subjected to a Restraint Order, it is imperative that you seek legal aid from a specialist fraud solicitor who is experienced in responding to such orders. When it comes to restraint orders, time is of the essence. While we understand that dealing with the prospect of a restraint order is going to be extremely upsetting, it is important that you act quickly and engage the help of a diligent lawyer who can respond speedily on your behalf.
Here at Draycott Browne, we have helped clients throughout the UK respond to their restraint orders, and we're available now to help you.
Enlisting the help of an experienced Restraint Order Solicitor who is unfazed and undaunted by the demands that this area of law bring will allow you to achieve the most favourable outcome for your situation, whether that be access to some of your funds or, in some cases, complete dismissal of the order.
To find out more and to take the first vital steps towards handling the situation you are facing, contact our team now.
What are Restraint Orders?
A Restraint Order is legal order that freezes the assets of a defendant.
If you have been handed a Restraint Order, you will not be able to withdraw funds from any of the specific bank accounts, and you will be banned from selling any property you may own until after your case has concluded. Ultimately, the purpose of such orders is to forcefully preserve the state of your bank accounts and assets until after the trial, at which point the assets may be needed to satisfy a Confiscation Order.
Under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, it is relatively straightforward for Prosecutors to apply for a Restraint Order. Any authority with sufficient evidence against you can make an application for a restraint order, but they are most often used by HMRC or the CPS. Restraint orders are common in investigations for money laundering, drug offences and fraud.
The Prosecutor only needs to prove that the following circumstances apply:
- that a criminal investigation has begun against an individual in England and Wales, and
- there is reasonable cause to believe that the alleged offender has benefited from criminal conduct.
Despite the low threshold for obtaining a restraint order, it may still be possible to challenge it with a request for a variation or discharge. Our solicitors will be able to advise you as to the validity of the order and will examine your prospects of successfully challenging it.
Throughout the trial, your bank accounts may be subjected to forensic analysis, with the results being used as evidence in court. It is worth remembering that, during the investigation, the HMRC and the police both have the power to search your properties and/or residencies and seize any items or assets that they deem pertinent to the case being heard. Furthermore, the HMRC and the police have the right to apply for a Restraint Order at any point in the proceedings, no matter how far into investigation the case is.
How is a Restraint Order applied for?
Restraint Orders are applied for by the CPS (the Crown Prosecution Service) or an agent from the HMRC. Although the orders can be requested at any stage during a criminal proceeding, the CPS or agent completing the application must provide sufficient evidence to the court that the individual has benefited from the criminal activity they are accused of engaging with for a Restraint Order to be granted. It is not enough for the CPS or an agent to request a Restraint Order on suspicion alone.
After you learn that a Restraint Order is going to be imposed, you must contact an experienced fraud solicitor, such as one of our renowned criminal defence lawyers, as soon as possible.
What are the potential harmful effects of a Restraint Order?
Restraint Orders can have a devastating impact on those they are imposed on.
Although the Orders are designed to stop access to potentially corrupt accounts, they can also prevent defendants from accessing their legitimate assets. The freezing of company assets can make trading impossible; bank accounts may be frozen, and fleet vehicles may be stopped, preventing employees from working. Trading relationships may be affected, as well as relationships with employees. From a personal perspective, the freezing of personal accounts can make meeting the financial demands of everyday life very difficult, causing stress and upset to both you and your family.
As well as having your assets frozen, you may also be required to disclose the locations and details of any other bank accounts or properties that you own, including those held overseas. In certain cases, the courts may organise for offshore assets to be transported to the UK and frozen there until after the trial.
It is also possible that your assets have been restrained due to an investigation involving a family member or business associate. If you find yourself in this situation, contact our defence lawyers today for specialist legal advice.
Given the serious consequences of such orders, it is crucial that you consult a solicitor as soon as possible to ensure the situation is handled quickly and in an expert manner. This will ensure that misunderstandings are avoided, and the situation can unfold as cleanly as possible.
Our team of solicitors are specialists in this field of law.
We know to act quickly to protect your financial assets and limit the potential damage that such an order could have on you.
Could I be subjected to other orders?
There are other orders which could be handed out as part of a criminal investigation.
Disclosure Orders force you or your company to disclose all of your/its assets immediately to the court. Failure to provide the necessary information constitutes contempt of court. Receivership Orders occur when the court appoints an unaffiliated thirty-party, known as the Receiver, to administer your estates during the trial. Unsurprisingly, Receivership Orders can have significant financial implications for you and your family and must be assessed and monitored by a qualified solicitor to ensure your finances are protected.
With all Orders, having the assistance of a lawyer who is intimately knowledgeable of the process involved in requesting such orders is key.
Only a lawyer with this degree of expertise, such as those on our fraud defence team, can assess, evaluate, and monitor the means by which the orders are given, and, where needed, challenge the prosecution if mistakes or errors have been made on their part.
What's the best way to respond to a restraint order?
It is imperative that Restraint Orders are dealt with quickly and, for that reason, time is of the essence. It is crucial that you enlist the help of a qualified solicitor who is well-versed in the legal steps associated with satisfying and challenging Restraint Orders as soon as possible after you become aware one is being imposed on your assets.
Most Restraint Orders require you to provide information to the court within a set number of days, typically 21. You will need the help of a solicitor to ensure this information is gathered promptly from third parties and provided to the court. Having the help of an experienced solicitor will also mean that, in cases where the deadline cannot be met, you will be able to apply for an extension to the deadline, thus allowing you to collect the information without being penalised.
What can my solicitor do?
Restraint Orders can be costly, time-consuming and extremely frustrating.
The orders can stop you from trading successfully with your business partners, with the ramifications of such interruptions being potentially severe. Restraint Orders can also affect you on a personal level, preventing you from accessing money that you need to support your family on a day-to-day basis.
An experienced solicitor, such as our team here at Draycott Browne, can apply for information on your behalf from the prosecution, and work with you to help protect your legitimate assets from harm. We can work with you to make timely applications for deadline extensions and maintenance amounts so that you and your family can live as comfortably as possible during this turbulent time. Wherever possible, we will strongly endeavour to challenge the legality of the Orders that have been enforced so that you and your company can continue to trade unhindered.
We will also work to apply for early discharge, so that you, your family and your business can resume life as usual.
The Fraud Solicitors at Draycott Browne, are widely recognised as one of the North of England's leading team of Criminal Defence Solicitors with specialist fraud, money laundering and business crime expertise.
Contact us today by calling the number at the top of this page. If you would like us to contact you, simply fill in our online enquiry form and a member of the team will be in touch as soon as possible.
We are highly regarded nationally across the legal profession and noted for consistently delivering positive results. Our team possesses a breadth of technical knowledge and experience in bank freezing orders and will provide you with the expertise needed throughout the process.
Our team of Criminal Defence Lawyers regularly act for clients in London and throughout Midlands and of course the North West including clients from Birmingham and Liverpool. By entrusting Draycott Browne, one of the top Criminal Defence Law Firms in the country, you can be assured that you will be working with a team of highly skilled and experienced lawyers who have a thorough and comprehensive knowledge of the law.
Our legal team is available 7 days a week. For expert legal advice or representation, call Draycott Browne today on (0)161 228 2244.
When you are facing the stiffest challenge, you cannot afford to settle for anything less than Draycott Browne.