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Proceeds of Crime Act 2002

Section 92: Making of order

157.Section 92 provides that a confiscation order under the Act is an order requiring an accused person convicted of a criminal offence or offences to pay a sum of money representing the accused person’s benefit from crime. The approach of the Act therefore reflects that adopted by the existing legislation. However, under the existing legislation, confiscation orders can only be imposed following conviction on indictment or for offences on summary complaint if the offence is punishable by a fine of an amount greater than level 5 on the standard scale or by imprisonment for more than 3 months or both. Section 92 extends this to cover all summary offences. Confiscation orders will be made by the High Court or the sheriff court. The confiscation procedures are mandatory. The court must go through them when asked to do so by the prosecutor.

158.Section 92 also makes it clear that the Act contains two different confiscation regimes, only one of which may be applied in any particular case. One enables the confiscation of an accused’s benefit from “general criminal conduct”, the other the confiscation of an accused’s benefit from “particular criminal conduct”. General criminal conduct means any criminal conduct of the accused whenever the criminal conduct occurred (see section 143) and whether or not it has ever formed the subject of any criminal prosecution. Particular criminal conduct means the offences of which the accused has been convicted in the current proceedings to which the confiscation proceedings relate (again, see section 143). General criminal conduct includes particular criminal conduct.

159.The general criminal conduct regime is to be applied where the accused is identified by the court after conviction as having a criminal lifestyle. This is determined by reference to the nature of the offence or offences of which the accused has been convicted in the current proceedings, or certain previous proceedings. The offences in question are specified later in section 142, read in conjunction with Schedule 2. If the court decides that the accused does not have a criminal lifestyle, confiscation is by reference to his benefit from his particular criminal conduct.

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