The following drug charge article was written by a practicing criminal lawyer with experience in drug charges. For information on other drugs charges, visit our Drug Charges home page.
What the law says
Section 7 (1) of the Drug Misuse Act 1986 provides that a person who receives or possesses property, other than a dangerous drug, (offence property) obtained, directly or indirectly, from the commission the offences of trafficking or supplying a dangerous drug (see sections 5 and 6 of the Drugs Misuse Act or equivalent sections where the offences were committed) knowing or believing the property to have been so obtained, is guilty of a crime.
Subsection (2) extends the offence to include any such property which has been obtained via drug offences, but then mortgaged or converted, either wholly or in part, where the person has knowledge of its origins and conversion.
What the police must prove
In order for the Police to prove their case at Court, they must prove each of the following matters beyond a reasonable doubt.
- That the accused “received or possessed”. Under section 7(3) for the purpose of proving the receiving of property it is sufficient to show that the accused person has, either alone or jointly with some other person, aided in concealing the property or disposing of it. In order to prove possession it will be necessary for the police to prove knowledge on the part of the accused.
- That the property was obtained from the commission of the offence (See the Trafficking and Supplying articles on this website);
- knowledge and belief of the accused that this was drug offence related property;
It will be necessary for the Police in every offence to prove that the accused was the person who committed the offence.
The maximum penalty is 20 years imprisonment.
Which court will hear the matter
The offence will be indictable and will be heard in the Supreme Court.
Possible defences to this offence include but are not limited to:
- Not receiving or possessing the property- (eg. Not sufficient control or knowledge)
- Lack of knowledge as to the origins of the property
- That the property was not obtained from the supply or trafficking in a drug
Important Note: Property can also be restrained and confiscated under the Crimes Confiscation of Profits Act.