Restraint Orders

What is a Restraint Order? A Restraint Order is placed upon a person under The Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, and is imposed to freeze assets that may have been the proceeds of a criminal offence. Assets that may be frozen include overseas properties and bank accounts, and anyone who is involved in a criminal investigation can have this type of order placed upon them.

Restraint orders are usually imposed in cases of financial fraud, theft or drug trafficking. However, the court may choose to hand out Restraint Orders in many different types of criminal cases, such as those involving prostitution or money laundering

A person doesn’t have to have been arrested and charged to have a Restraint Order imposed upon them, and the assets will most likely remained frozen until the trial is over, or until the person in question is acquitted of the crime. If the defendant is found guilty, the Restraint Order will remain in place, and Confiscation Order proceedings may begin.

A Restraint Order can be requested by HMRC, The Crown Prosecution Service or any agent that can provide enough evidence to satisfy the court that the defendant has acquired financial gain from a criminal offence. Since 2003, it is possible for Restraint Orders to be imposed by the police and private investigators.

Please note that simply suspecting a person of gaining financially from a crime is not satisfactory for the court to impose a Restraint Order. If you suspect that a Restraint Order has been imposed with insufficient evidence, contact one of our expert fraud solicitors as soon as possible for professional advice.

What should I do if I’ve been issued with a Restraint Order?

Even though Restraint Orders may seem set in stone, they are actually relatively straightforward to obtain, and so many people who have been issued with one feel too afraid to fight back against it, even if they feel it is unnecessary. If you’ve been issued with a Restraint Order, it’s important to seek legal advice from a professional or has experience in this field.

Here at DPP Business & Tax Solicitors, our knowledgeable team of fraud solicitors are on hand to assist with any restraint order enquiries you may have. Contact us today to speak with an expert.

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