Under section 294 Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (POCA), police and other officers can seize cash in excess of £1,000 if they have reasonable grounds to suspect it has been gained through criminal activity. Cash is often seized during a stop and search by the police, at Border Control or during a routine visit to a business premises. The cash can only be seized if there are grounds for suspicion, which is often determined when an account given by a defendant casts doubt on the origin of the cash.
The cash can be detained for an initial period of 48 hours and any application for further detention must be made to the Magistrates’ Court within this time. For this reason, if we’re dealing with a significant amount of cash, it is always important to get solicitAors who specialise in this area of law as quickly as possible. Applications are made at that hearing for the cash to be detained for an initial period of 6 months. This can have catastrophic effects on individuals and businesses. The Court has the power to seize all of your cash which is why Nicholls & Nicholls should be the lawyers you call to assist in winning it back. We provide the knowledge and skill to contest the seizure by the authorities. A court will assess the evidence and decide on the balance of probabilities whether the cash is likely to be the proceeds of crime. We know how to prevent this from happening.
Alternatively, Part 5 of POCA relates to reclaiming the proceeds of crime through civil proceedings. Applications are made in the High Court against property that is or represents property allegedly obtained through unlawful conduct.
Nicholls & Nicholls have expert lawyers with extensive experience challenging cash seizures who can advise and assist if you have had cash seized by the police or another agency. We also work alongside some of the best experts in the country to ensure that our clients are covered from every aspect.
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