This is a hugely important subject for defendants but unfortunately too many lawyers failed to look after their client’s interests possibly because the pay was so poor on legal aid.
We are asked to take over a number of cases following conviction but before the confiscation order is made usually because of the failure of the original lawyers to make any progress in preparing the case for the defendant. For some reason the interest of lawyers seemed to be lost following conviction.
The main concerns of the confiscation process include looking at the ‘benefit’ to the defendant and also looking to establish what assets are available to meet an order.
The latter issue can be complex but it is very important to the client to have this argued fully and properly. If the judge finds a figure that is too high the client is at risk of failing to meet the order and therefore faces a period of imprisonment in default of payment.
The former issue can be vital but is the one that is overlooked so often. Lawyers have tended to make the error that it does not matter what the benefit figure is as the real limitation will be based on the available assets. However, the unpaid benefit figure does not disappear. It remains payable and if the client comes into money at a later date (whether as a legacy, through settling down and earning/saving, winning lottery…) the balance plus interest can be claimed.
We continue to receive instructions from clients who are disillusioned with their former representation.
If your problem is that an asset belonging to you has been attributed to a defendant facing confiscation proceedings, detention/forfeiture of cash proceedings or a restraint order, then click here. You may have been prevented from dealing with the asset as your own, selling the asset, or even accessing monies in your bank account. You should not delay taking advice.
Contact Dennis Clarke to discuss your case and be satisfied that we can offer the skill and service that you need. If out of office hours ring us on our out-of-hours emergency only number at 01892 523999 and ask to be put through to Dennis Clarke. In normal office hours ring Dennis Clarke on 01732 360999. Speed of contact is very important.