What Is Recoverable Property Under POCA?
Under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (POCA), there are two types of property: recoverable and non-recoverable. Recoverable property is any property that has been obtained through criminal activity, while non-recoverable property is any property that has not been obtained through illegal activity.
The POCA civil recovery process allows the government to confiscate or recover any property obtained through criminal activity. This includes any property used to commit a crime or any property obtained as a result of illegal activity.
The POCA civil recovery process is separate from the criminal justice system and is not a criminal trial. This means that the standard of proof is lower than in a criminal trial since the civil recovery process is civil in nature. The burden of proof is on the respondent (the person against whom the civil recovery order is sought) to prove that the property was not obtained through criminal activity.
In civil recovery proceedings of POCA, the court will consider all the evidence and decide based on the balance of probabilities. This means that if the court is satisfied that it is more likely than not that the property was obtained through criminal activity, then the property will be confiscated.
The types of property that can be confiscated under POCA include:
- Real estate, including land and buildings
- Personal property, such as vehicles, jewellery, artwork
- Money, including cash, bank accounts, and investments
- Business assets, such as stock, equipment, and vehicles
- Intellectual property, such as patents or trademarks
In some cases, the court may order the sale of the property, and the government will confiscate the proceeds from the sale. The proceeds from the sale of the property will be used to pay for the costs of the civil recovery proceedings and any debts the respondent may owe.
When is Your Property Recoverable?
Not all property that the government seizes will be forfeited. In some cases, you may be able to get your property back. You should take the assistance of civil solicitors who will help you with civil recovery proceedings.
To start a recovery proceeding, you must first file a notice of claim with the government. This notice tells the government that you want your property back and sets out the reasons why you believe it should be returned to you. The government will then have a chance to respond to your claim.
You can file a civil action in court if the government does not agree to return your property. In this action, you must prove that the government wrongfully seized your property and that you are entitled to have it returned.
The burden of proof in these cases is on the person claiming the property. This means that you will need to provide evidence to support your claim. If you are successful in your civil action, the court will order the return of your property.
How Can You Protect Your Property From Being Seized by the Government Under Poca?
If you are facing civil recovery proceedings under POCA, it is essential to seek legal advice as soon as possible. A lawyer with experience in POCA proceedings can help you to understand the process and your rights.
There are several ways to protect your property from being seized by the government under POCA. These include:
- Proving that the property was not obtained through criminal activity
- Showing that the property is not recoverable under POCA
- Showing that the property is necessary for your livelihood
If you can prove any of the above, you may be able to keep your property. It is important to note that even if you successfully keep your property, the civil recovery proceedings will still result in a criminal record.
Poca can have severe consequences for your life, so it's essential to understand your rights and options if your property is seized. If you have questions about Poca or need help challenging a seizure, you should speak to a lawyer. If your property is recoverable, you may be able to get it back through civil recovery proceedings. If your property is subject to criminal forfeiture, you should speak to a lawyer about your rights and options.