Restraint order solicitors
If you’re being investigated under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, prosecutors may be able to freeze your assets without warning. We’ve the experience to challenge restraint orders like this whenever possible.
Assets frozen by a restraint order?
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What is a restraint order?
A restraint order is a court order that gives a prosecutor the right to immediately freeze your bank accounts to prevent them from being emptied and freeze other assets such as cars and property to prevent them being moved or sold. Using the extensive powers granted by the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, prosecutors will often seek a restraint order on an ‘ex parte’ basis, which means ‘without giving notice.’
This will often happen at a very early stage in an investigation, giving prosecutors the element of surprise and preventing alleged criminals from moving assets when they realise that the law is catching up with them.
However, restraint orders are also sometimes granted against those who are not guilty of any crime, when they can cause severe emotional distress and financial difficulties. That’s when our experienced business crime solicitors may be able to challenge a restraint order on your behalf.
What happens when a restraint order is granted?
The immediate effect of a is to freeze all of your personal and business assets and bank accounts. A small spending allowance will be permitted for your living expenses, but this may not be enough to meet all of your financial commitments, particularly when it comes to the finances needed to keep your business running smoothly.
You may also be required to give a detailed list of all of your assets worldwide within a short time of a restraint order being served.
This is a logical move from a prosecutor’s standpoint, as it prevents assets being moved or liquidated and preserves them for a possible Confiscation Order being made at a later date. However, restraint orders under the are often made before any charges have been brought and can be overwhelmingly distressing to people who are innocent of fraud or any other criminal offence.
Under these circumstances, we may be able to have the restraint order discharged, or at least seek to have the order ‘varied’ so you can continue to run your business and properly provide for your family by accessing legitimately earned money.
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