The range of powers available to investigators under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (POCA) is extensive. While there is some overlap with powers available for other investigations, the fact that a case involves one of the issues with which POCA is concerned makes a significant difference to what investigators can do.
The shock of a criminal conviction, and/or a harsher than expected sentence, can make it hard to think clearly about the options for what to do next. Where a trial and mitigation has been carefully and properly prepared, the advisers who have helped throughout the case will usually be the best placed to say whether there are grounds for an appeal. In some cases the defendants and their family members will want to take a second opinion, but this is never cheap or easy, and time is always of the essence.
An increasing number of people are finding themselves on the receiving end of summary forfeiture proceedings in the magistrates’ court, a system that is designed to be simple and efficient from the point of view of law enforcement, but which carries significant risks for the owners of the property at stake.