Account Freezing Orders
Under the Proceedings of Crime Act (POCA), it is possible for the contents of bank accounts to be frozen and forfeited if it is suspected that they come from unlawful conduct or it is considered that the funds will be used illegally. No conviction is required for seizure or forfeiture to take place.
The application for an Account Freezing Order (AFO) is made in private and so often an individual will first become aware of the existence of the Order when they have difficulty using the bank account in question.
It is possible that there may be a subsequent application to forfeit the contents of the bank account. This is dealt with in the Magistrates’ Court. The court can only order that the contents of the bank account be forfeited if it is proved that it is more likely than not that the contents of the account were illegally obtained or are intended to be used illegally.
When facing an AFO, working with an experienced Proceeds of Crime Act solicitors is essential to ensure that you achieve the best possible result.
At ABR Solicitors, our team of Account Freezing Order solicitors have extensive experience in preparing cases related to these matters and have a strong track record of success. Our expert solicitors can guide you through every stage of your case if you have been subject to an AFO, ensuring that you receive proper advice and tactical guidance.
We understand exactly how difficult it can be if your accounts have been frozen and the difference that proper advice and tactics can make from the very outset.
Our Account Freezing Order lawyers are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and can be by your side for every stage of proceedings.
How our Account Freezing Order solicitors can help you
Our team can step in to support you if you are subject to an Account Freezing Order made under the Proceeds of Crime Act.
Challenging an Account Freezing Order
It is possible to challenge the Account Freezing Order. In the first instance an application can be made to vary the AFO to allow reasonable living expenses, reasonable business expenditure or to pay legal fees.
In the event that there is an application to forfeit the contents of the bank account this can be opposed. Evidence can be gathered and served to demonstrate that the contents of the account are from a legitimate source. If this does not satisfy the authority making the application then a contested hearing in the Magistrates’ Court will be set at which evidence will be called and submissions made to demonstrate that the funds are from a legitimate source or for a legitimate purpose.
Speak to our Account Freezing Order solicitors today
If you need immediate expert advice and representation in relation to Account Freezing Order made under the Proceeds of Crime Act, please contact your local ABR Solicitors office in Leeds, Liverpool, London, Nottingham or Birmingham.