Section 22 Applications
Where a confiscation order has previously been made and there is a difference between the benefit figure and the available amount the prosecution can make an application under Section 22 of the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) to increase the available amount if they believe that the defendant has come into possession of further assets.
It is possible that if a defendant has obtained assets since the original confiscation order was made that these assets can be confiscated by the prosecution up to the value of the original benefit figure. Examples of the types of assets that can be the subject of such applications are equity in a property, private pensions, vehicles or cash deposits in a bank account.
When facing a Section 22 application, using an expert Proceeds of Crime Act solicitor is essential to ensure that you achieve the best possible result.
At ABR Solicitors, we have a team of expert Section 22 application solicitors, all of whom have substantial experience and expertise in preparing cases, with a strong track record of success to illustrate this. We are often asked to take over cases where people are not satisfied with the work of their solicitors in this area, as well as other POCA confiscation matters.
We will guide you through every stage relating to your case and make sure that you receive comprehensive advice and tactical guidance that is tailored to your individual circumstances.
We understand exactly how devastating it can be to be subject to a Section 22 application, especially where you have already been subject to costly confiscation proceedings in the past. That is why the importance of prompt advice and a carefully thought out approach is of paramount importance.
The key contact in this area is Andrew Stewardson.
Our Section 22 application lawyers are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and can be by your side for every stage of proceedings.
How our Section 22 application solicitors can help you
We can help you where a section 22 application has been made by the prosecution, ensuring that your rights are protected and that the legislation is not misused.
Challenging a Section 22 application
It is possible to oppose a Section 22 application to increase the available amount. Potential grounds for opposing the application may include the following:
- The asset(s) identified by the prosecution belong to a third party. For example, a property may be registered in a defendant’s sole name but a third party may have a financial interest in it.
- It is not just to increase the available amount by reference to the facts of the specific case. For example, it may be many years since the original confiscation order was made or the defendant’s personal circumstances may provide scope to argue that it is not just to confiscate the asset.
- A legal argument as to whether the provisions of section 22 have actually been triggered.
Section 22 application case study
ABR Solicitors acted for a defendant in opposing a section 22 application at Sheffield Crown Court.
The prosecution sought to increase the defendant’s available amount by reference to the equity in a property that the defendant had inherited from his mother. Approximately 13 years had passed since the original confiscation order had been made, the defendant had not committed any further offences, the property in question had been the family home for several decades.
We were able to successfully argue in a contested hearing that it would not be just to increase the confiscation order by reference to the equity in the property. The defendant was therefore able to retain the property that he had inherited.
Speak to our Section 22 application solicitors today
If you need immediate expert advice and representation in relation to Section 22 applications under the Proceeds of Crime Act, please contact your local ABR Solicitors office in Leeds, Liverpool, London or Nottingham.