Proceeds of Crime Act - Your rights

For the Prosecution to bring a Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) application certain conditions have to apply. The most significant is that some financial benefit must have been gained and that you are benefitting from a ‘criminal lifestyle’. There are a few ways the court may decide that you have a criminal lifestyle.

Crime committed

For some crimes it is automatically assumed a criminal lifestyle is being gained. These include

  • Drug trafficking, drug importation & drug supply
  • Money laundering
  • Offences under the Terrorism Act
  • Offences under the Modern Slavery Act
  • Arms trafficking
  • Counterfeiting
  • Intellectual property offences
  • Prostitution & Child sex offences

The number of cases and the amounts involved

POCA proceedings can be brought If the amount involved is over £5000 and you’re convicted of at least four offences at one time. Or, alternatively if in the last six years, you’ve been convicted on two separate occasions of offences where you’re deemed to have obtained a benefit.

The length of time the offences took place

Similar to the example above proceedings can be started if you’ve benefitted by more than £5000 and the crime has been carried out over 6 months or more.

Death by dangerous driving is the most serious driving offence as it occurs when death is caused by an act of dangerous driving. Dangerous Driving is where a person drives on a road or public place and the standard of driving falls so far below the standard expected of a motorist that a normal, reasonable person would consider it to be dangerous.

What should I do if a Proceeds of Crime case has been served on me?

The Proceeds of Crime Act is extensive, and most criminal solicitors have limited experience dealing with POCA applications. We have a team of specialist POCA solicitors with a vast amount of experience working complex cases.

Confiscation orders can profoundly affect families, potentially resulting in the loss of savings or even the family home. While such orders are issued only upon conviction, it’s crucial to establish the legitimacy of your assets. Despite benefiting from the convicted crime, safeguarding assets earned through legitimate means is essential for you and your family.

We specialize in proving the legitimacy of funds. Collaborating with a wider including forensic accountants, we meticulously examine all aspects and gather evidence to protect your family’s assets.


Deal negotiated with Prosecution on Proceeds of Crime Act case

This was an asset seizure matter where £234,000 of gold was seized from the client at Heathrow Airport before he was boarding a flight to Dubai. The prosecution alleged he was a front for larger criminal activity whereas the defence contested this as the client is a director linked to 4 jewellery companies. HMRC claimed that £1.4 million in gold had been exported between April 2021 and February 2022. We were required to look into the client’s tax affairs to show that he had declared the exported gold and that the gold seized was not criminal property.

Unfortunately, once the review of the client’s tax affairs had taken place the client was advised that he should settle this matter out of Court. We were able to negotiate a deal with the Prosecution so that they wouldn’t pursue costs and they would not Prosecute for tax evasion but offset the gold against what is owed. This was a good result for the client.

Useful Information

Within this site

More info how much can be taken as part of POCA

POCA limitations

Legal Aid or privately funding driving charges

More info on one of our POCA specialists

Nadia Ryman


The Proceeds of Crime Act

The legislation

Sentencing guidelines

Money laundering

Crown Prosecution Services website