Dealing With Property Suspected of Being Proceeds of Crime
Have you been accused of Dealing With Property Suspected of Being Proceeds of Crime?
Police InterviewIf the police contact you to interview you about allegations of Dealing with Property Suspected of Being Proceeds of Crime, it is worth speaking with one of defence lawyers first to have your important questions answered:
- Will I be remanded?
- Will the Police leave me alone if I tell my side of the story?
- Will it help if I answer some questions and say ‘no comment’ to other questions?
The police will ordinarily consider charging someone with this offence if they find something in the person’s possession that they suspect is the proceeds of crime, however they do not have any other evidence to substantiate this suspicion. Making admissions in an interview about whether something is the proceeds of crime could mean the police decide to charge you with the more serious offences of Theft or Handle Stolen Goods.
Speaking with a lawyer prior to your interview will assist you to navigate the interview process to put you in the best position to deal with this charge.
Pleading Not GuiltyOur lawyers have enormous experience defending people charged with Dealing with Property Suspected of Being Proceeds of Crime. We will review the evidence and consider whether the police have reasonable grounds to suspect the property is proceeds of crime, as is required to make out the charge. We can also critique the police case and consider whether the evidence establishes that you were ‘dealing’ with the property in question.
If appropriate, we would also request that the police disclose further evidence relevant to the alleged suspicion or explore gathering evidence to demonstrate that the property was legitimately obtained.
Pleading GuiltyIf you decide to plead guilty to this charge, our experienced lawyers will help you prepare a thorough and considered plea in mitigation. We would prepare submissions on your behalf, help you gather character evidence and direct you to attend offence-specific courses that will demonstrate evidence of rehabilitation upon completion.
Whether or not you prepare a considered plea in mitigation with the assistance of a lawyer will impact the type of sentence you receive and may be the difference between you receiving a with or without conviction sentence, depending on your circumstances.
SentencingSentencing in the higher courts of AustraliaPlease note that suspended sentences were abolished in the higher courts earlier than that of the Magistrates’ Court, and therefore all offences committed on or after 1 September 2013 will not have this available as a sentencing option.1
Sentencing in the Magistrates’ Courts of AustraliaPlease note that suspended sentences were abolished in Victoria for all offences committed on or after 1 September 2014.2
 Sentencing Advisory Council. Abolished Sentencing Orders, accessed January 21, 2021, https://www.sentencingcouncil.vic.gov.au/about-sentencing/abolished-sentencing-orders.
Examples of Dealing With Property Suspected of Being Proceeds of Crime
- The police have a warrant to search a man’s home and find a large amount of cash. The man has been unemployed for some time.
- A CEO of a company is charged and convicted for tax evasion and luxury vehicles at their home are seized by the Federal Police
- A drug operation is shut down by the Federal Police and money and weapons are seized
LegislationThis offence can be found in section 195 of the Crimes Act 1958 (Vic).
Elements of the offenceFor an accused to be proven guilty, the following elements must be established in court:
- The accused dealt with property.
- The property was suspected of being proceeds of crime.
- The suspicion was on reasonable grounds.
“Can the Prosecution prove that you ought to have known that the property was stolen?”
- The property was legitimately purchased / obtained
- There could not be a reasonable suspicion that the property was proceeds of crime
Questions that are asked in cases like this:
- How did you get the property?
- Is there a legitimate / legal reason for you having the property?
Questions a Judge will AskA judge presiding over a trial will ask the jury to consider:
- Is it reasonable to believe that the property was stolen
- Did the accused have the property in his/her possession
- Did the accused have a lawful excuse for possessing the property.
The maximum penalty for the offence of Dealing With Property Suspected of Being Proceeds of Crime (s195 of the Crimes Act 1958) is level 7 imprisonment (2 years).
Other Important Resources
- SACStat Higher Courts – Crimes Act 1958 (Vic): s 195 – dealing with property suspected of being proceeds of crime
- SAC Statistics – Crimes Act 1958 (Vic): s 195 – dealing with property suspected of being proceeds of crime
- Proceeds of Crime (Consequential Amendments and Transitional Provisions) Act 2002
- VCC summaries – dealing with proceeds of crime: Sentencing decisions from 1 January 2016 to 31 August 2016
- Good Behaviour Bond for Drug Possession
- Handle Stolen Goods and Deal With Property Suspected of Being Proceeds of Crime
- Deferring a Sentence for a Youth Charged With Numerous Offences
- Trafficking Cannabis and Weapons Possession Charges – CCO
- Pleading Guilty to Handling Stolen Goods and Other Charges