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    Goods in Custody

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      Goods in Custody  Section 527c Crimes Act

      Our goods in custody lawyers have years of experience in fighting these charges. Often, we can get these charges dropped before the case proceeds to a final hearing.

      Contact us now for an appraisal of your case and advice on your options.



        What is the Offence of ‘Goods in Custody’?

        The definition of ‘goods in custody is contained in Section 527C of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW). It sets out that if you had property (including money) in your possession and there is a reasonable suspicion that it was unlawfully obtained, you can be guilty of an offence.

        This is a summary offence and as such it will be finalised in the Local Court.


        How Do You Beat a ‘Goods in Custody’ Charge?

        You can fight a Goods in custody charge in two ways. Firstly, the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt:

        1. You had property/money in your custody; OR
        2. You placed property/money in the custody of another person; OR
        3. You had property/money on a premises; AND
        4. you were not entitled to possess that property/money; AND
        5. there is a ‘reasonable suspicion’ that the property/money was stolen or unlawfully obtained.


        If any of these elements are not made out, then you can be found ‘not guilty’.

        Secondly, you can rely on one of the defences.


        What is ‘Reasonable Suspicion’?

        Goods in custody is a unique charge in that one of the elements only requires Police to prove a ‘reasonable suspicion’ that the property or money was stolen or unlawfully obtained. The decision of R v Rondo [2001] NSWCCA 540 is the leading case on the definition of reasonable suspicion. Rondo held that a reasonable suspicion:

        1. Can be less than a reasonable belief but must be more than a possibility;
        2. Must contain some factual basis and cannot be arbitrary; and
        3. The Court can consider the likely state of mind of a police officer at the time he or she formed the reasonable suspicion, by referring to the nature and source of their information and all of surrounding circumstances.


        We have been recognised as the best criminal lawyers for goods in custody charges and have run hundreds of arguments on what does and does not constitute reasonable suspicion.

        To obtain advice on your case as to whether Police have the requisite reasonable suspicion that the property or money was stolen or unlawfully obtained, contact us now to speak to one of our specialist goods in custody solicitors.


        What are the Defences to ‘Goods in Custody’?

        There a number of defences to goods in custody including:

        1. You can prove on the balance of probabilities that you had no reasonable grounds for suspecting that the property/money was stolen or otherwise unlawfully obtained.
        2. Knowledge: You were not aware that you had custody of the property/money.
        3. Identification: Police cannot prove beyond reasonable doubt that you were the perpetrator.
        4. Duress:You were forced to commit the offence
        5. Necessity: Your actions were necessary in the circumstances


        Contact us now to see if you have a defence available to you.


        If you are pleading guilty, our guide on pleading guilty to Fraud offences will provide you some assistance in preparing for sentencing. Please note that this guide is a non-exhaustive list and not specifically tailored to your case.

        Contact us now so that our accredited specialist in criminal law can provide you advice tailored to your case and represent you in Court.


        What is the Penalty for Goods in Custody?

        The maximum penalty for ‘Unlawfully possessing property or goods in custody’ is 12 months imprisonment, and/or a fine of $1,100, if the property is a car or part of a car or vessel.

        If the property is anything else, the maximum penalty is 6 months imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $550.

        These maximum penalties are not especially great compared to other offences. As such, if you do not have a defence to the charge, you may still be able to have no conviction recorded against you if you are represented by one of our specialist criminal lawyers.


        What are the Sentencing Options for Goods in Custody?

        Below are possible sentences for a goods in custody charge:

        1. Section 10 dismissal
        2. Conditional Release Order without Conviction (previously known as Section 10 good behaviour bond)
        3. Fine
        4. Conditional Release Order with Conviction (previously known as Section 9 good behaviour bond)
        5. Community Corrections Order (previously known as Community Service Order)
        6. Intensive Corrections Order
        7. Full Time Imprisonment

        Will I Receive a Criminal Conviction for Goods in Custody?

        Sentencing statistics for goods in custody charges from 2018 onwards show that of 809 cases heard in the Local Court, only 4% of offenders received no conviction for goods in custody. 12% of offenders were sentenced to full-time prison. All remaining offenders received convictions on their criminal records.

        Clearly, avoiding a conviction is not easy. As such, you should speak to Australia’s best goods in custody lawyers.

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