Serious and General Crime
One of the lesser known, often poorly understood provisions of the confiscation regime under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (POCA) is section 22, which provides an opportunity to the prosecutor to invite a ‘reconsideration of the available amount’. For many defendants who have been through the process, had an order made and in many cases satisfied that order in full, the first they have heard of that section is the letter informing them that such an application is to be made.
Following from the recent BCL article discussing digital data requested in investigations, BCL partner, Paul Morris was quoted in an article from The Times on the uses of this data in trials.
After careful consideration of the concerns raised by complainants and certain MPs, the government rightly decided a change was necessary in order to strengthen this particular area of sexual offences within criminal law.
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.