This requires urgent and expert advice, often from someone other than the solicitor who originally represented you. why?
Firstly, the Court has to decide whether it can rely upon specific criminal activity or general criminal bevaviour. Certain offences spell this particular problem. Once general criminal behaviour and activity can be considered and taken into account, the effect is that the floodgates are opened. The Court can go back as far as it wishes to. In respect of the last six years, the problem is even greater. In this case, the Court will make assumptions as to the funds and property the Defendant has or has had. They are entitled to assume it was all the proceeds of this or any previous crime. This can be catastrophic. Why?
If the Court can presume matters, the onus shifts to the Defendant to prove otherwise. In other words, it might be your task to prove the negative. This makes life very difficult. Often in prison, a Defendant is asked to account for transactions which occurred many years ago. Documents at home, potential witnesses elsewhere, it makes it exceedingly difficult to retain assets and money.
These proceedings are called CONFISCATION PROCEEDINGS. This is a little misleading. The Court doesn't actually confiscate the goods. They place a monetary value on the assets, work out what the Defendant has available in practice and make an Order accordingly.
Proceeds of Crime is no laughing matter. If payment in not made when it is ordered to be paid, the Defendant is at risk of a further prison sentence - in default.
Any Defendant must seek legal help urgently as the consequences can be life-changing.
Feel free to call me at any time 24/7 on 0161 485 1100
MILTON FIRMAN LLB
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