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Property offence: Deal with proceeds of crime. We explain the elements, defences & penalties

The offence of Dealing with proceeds of crime is prosecuted under Section 194 of the Crimes Act 1958 (Vic).


Elements of offence


The prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt the following:


– A person deals with proceeds of crime; AND

– At the time of dealing with the proceeds of crime she or he knows it to be proceeds of crime.


An alternative offence to Deal with proceeds of crime (Section 194 of the Crimes Act 1958 (Vic)) is Deal with property reasonably suspected of being proceeds of crime (Section 195 of the Crimes Act 1958 (Vic)). The key difference between the two offences is the extent to which the prosecution can prove actual knowledge that the property in question was proceeds of crime as opposed to a reasonable suspicion.


Unsurprisingly, the offence is frequently associated with charges alleging Trafficking a drug of dependence.


Penalties


Under section 194(2) of the Crimes Act 1958 (Vic) a person found guilty of Dealing with proceeds of crime is liable to 15 years imprisonment.


Sentencing outcomes


The offence of Dealing with proceeds of crime is an indictable offence. The gravity of the offence will vary significantly between cases, and consequently so do the outcomes.


As a general guide, the Sentencing Advisory Council has published the top 4 sentencing outcomes for this offence when heard in the Magistrates’ Court for the period 2016 – 2019:


Imprisonment – 48%

Community Correction Order – 25%

Fine – 15%

Adjourned undertaking/discharge/dismissal – 10%


Defences

A factual dispute as to whether an accused person dealt with property said to be proceeds, or whether the prosecution can prove the requisite intent (knowledge) as to whether an accused knew he or she was dealing with property that was proceeds of crime.


Early preparation often the key to a successful defence


The circumstances of an offence of Deal with proceeds of crime can vary greatly, and consequently so do the penalties for the offence. Call our office on (03) 9668 7600 for an obligation free case assessment.



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Level 8
488 Bourke Street
Melbourne, Vic 3000

Ph: (03) 9668 7600