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My legal matter concerning an application for a Domestic Violence Order was managed by Mr Thomas Allen. I am grateful for the outcome he obtained. Without Mr Allen and his ongoing support, I would be certain of a different result. It has been an extremely stressful period. Mr Allen’s astute ability to liaise on my behalf and his expertise was invaluable and for which I am grateful as I am now able to move forward. Thanking you
I would like to take this opportunity to thank Armstrong Legal and specifically Mr Thomas Allen for representing me in my recent case. At the outset, I would like to thank Mr Allen for the very professional delivery of his legal service. From the first time that I met Mr Allen, I was very impressed with his demeanour and delivery as he made me feel at ease knowing the severity of my case. Mr Allen not only gave me the possible positive outcomes of the case but also the realisation of the worst-case scenario as far as sentencing goes. … I will certainly be recommending Armstrong Legal to any of my friends or family needing representation in criminal matters. Thank you so very much.
Thank you for your representation and help. Fingers crossed for the next step and parole. I just want to say that from the first phone call to your office, your service has been outstanding and have put my mind at ease. I am glad I picked your number to ring.
Thank you Armstrong Legal, the lawyers that have helped over the past 3 years but more importantly, thank you to Thomas Allen for the major part you and Mr Buckland played. Cannot thank you enough. Cheers.
Hi all. I would like to thank Ms Lisa Riley for all her help with my legal issues this past month. It was the most harrowing experience of my life and thanks to her expertise, professionalism and knowledge of the law, I came out almost unscathed. I have no hesitation in recommending Lisa Riley and Armstrong Legal if you need help. The service is amazing and the cost was very minimal for the great outcome. Thank you Lisa for helping me in the most difficult time.
I just want to thank you from the bottom of my heart. My whole life I was thrown away, you made me feel like I did mean something. I could not have asked for a better lawyer. Your compassion and love for your job is inspiring. Your upfront and honesty were muchly appreciated, you are a beautiful person. Thank you for not giving up on me and thank you for all the work you put in. I wish you all the best for the future and I will be recommending you to everyone I know. You're amazing!!!!
I just wanted to thank you for representing me on Monday, I was overjoyed & relieved with the outcome. I don’t think it could have gone any better. All the best, I hope you got to celebrate this one instead after work, you forever made a difference in my life.
I know I thanked you before we parted company but please allow me to reiterate in writing my sincere deepest thanks for defending me in court today. … Armstrong Legal certainly has a great Lawyer you are a credit to the company and I'm quite sure you will secure a very successful future! … My Kindest Regards and Thanks
Throughout Angela has been the consummate professional. She maintained a calm, yet strong demeanour remained informative and completely open in her communication and took complete ownership of the situation. We felt confident we finally had an advocate to steer us out of the nightmare we were in, and she did so with great respect and sincerity. I cannot speak more highly of Angela. She has literally rescued our family from what looked very much like a hopeless future.
Words can’t describe how grateful I am to Trudie Cameron being my solicitor and to Andrew Tiedt presenting my case in the court. They both have been very supportive and amazingly professional and effective. I’ve got an absolutely fantastic outcome I couldn’t even dream about.
Soon after meeting Andrew I knew he was the solicitor I wanted to handle my matter. He immediately sprang into action which brought me stability and hope during a tumultuous time in my life. Andrew was never afraid to give me straight answers to my tough questions which is a true mark of integrity. He is clearly at ease in the court environment and I believe his calm and measured demeanour went a long way to helping me secure the best result from my day in court. I would certainly recommend you approach Andrew if you need assistance.
"Andrew Tiedt was very professional and considerate to personal circumstances and gave sound advice that resulted in the best outcome possible. Highly recommended."
For more than a decade, the ACT has had wide-ranging legislation that provides for the confiscation of assets in relation to criminal investigations. The laws give police wide powers to seize and confiscate, including powers over property that is in the control of people unassociated with any criminal offence.
The Confiscation of Criminal Assets Act 2003 operates on the principle that a person should not be enriched because of the commission of an offence. This applies whether or not anyone has been convicted of an offence.
The Act aims to:
- deprive a person of all material advantage, property or unexplained wealth derived from criminal activity;
- enable the effective tracing and seizure by law enforcement authorities of property and all material advantage related to crime.
The Act applies to property, or dealings with property, whether the property is in the ACT, or within Australia or overseas. Decisions under the Act are made using the civil standard, which is “the balance of probabilities”, and not on the criminal standard, which is “beyond reasonable doubt”.
What Powers Does the Court Have?
A court can make a restraining order preventing the disposal or other dealing with property. A restraining order may also be made to secure a property for the payment of a penalty order. Property may be restrained even though it is not the offender’s property.
A court can make an order (a conviction forfeiture order) for the forfeiture of tainted property in relation to an offence.
If a person is convicted of a serious offence (generally an offence punishable by imprisonment for 5 years or more), all restrained property is, by the operation of the Act, forfeited to the Territory. If a court is satisfied on the balance of probabilities that a person has committed a serious offence, it can make a civil forfeiture order.
A court may order the payment to the Territory (a penalty order) of the value of the tainted property and the advantages and other benefits derived in any way from the commission of a relevant offence and for restrained property to be sold to satisfy the penalty order.
Provision is made for an order that property be excluded from forfeiture (an exclusion order) and forfeited property can be returned or compensation paid for it in certain circumstances. Provision is also made for the buyback of interests in forfeited property.
What is Tainted Property?
Section 10 of the Act defines tainted property as:
- property that was used, or was intended to be used, to commit an offence; or
- property that was derived from the commission of the offence; or
- property that was derived via the two methods above; and including money held in an account with a financial institution that represents the value of the property.
The section provides examples of tainted property, including a car used as a getaway car for an armed robbery, and a house bought with money stolen during an armed robbery.
Such property found in the possession of an offender is taken to be related to crime and it is the offender’s responsibility to show otherwise.
A person contravenes a restraining order if:
- the person deals with property; and
- the property is subject to a restraining order; and
- the person knows that, or is reckless about the fact that, the property is subject to a restraining order.
The maximum penalty is a fine of up to 500 penalty units and/or imprisonment for 5 years.
A court can give directions prohibiting or restricting the publication or disclosure of information about restraining orders and breaching that direction is subject to heavy penalties.
An application for a restraining order can be made up to 6 years after the offence was committed. However, a restraining order can end when:
- another order under the Act is made;
- the property is forfeited under the Act;
- the property is disposed of by the public trustee to satisfy a penalty order.
A person with an interest in restrained property can apply to the court that made the restraining order for revocation of the order if the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) did not give the person notice of the order. If the order relates to property that has evidentiary value in a criminal proceeding, the court must not revoke the order.
The owner of restrained property can apply to the court that made the restraining order for the restraining order to be revoked or varied. The court must not make an order revoking or varying the restraining order unless the DPP has been provided with security or an undertaking for the property.
The criteria for obtaining an exclusion order, which frees up certain property from restraint or forfeiture, is complex and the threshold is high.
If the application is made by an offender, the court must not make an exclusion order for the property unless the court is satisfied that the property:
- is not tainted property in relation to any offence against a territory law, or a law of the Commonwealth, a State, another Territory or a foreign country; and
- is not required to be restrained to satisfy a penalty order; and
- does not have evidentiary value in any criminal proceeding.
If the application is made by a person other than an offender, the court must not make an exclusion order for the property unless it is satisfied that:
- the applicant has an interest in the property and it was acquired lawfully; and
- the applicant was not a party to the relevant offence or any related offence; and
- the interest is not subject to the effective control of an offender; and
- the interest is not tainted property; and
- the property does not have evidentiary value in any criminal proceeding.
For advice or representation in any legal matter, please contact Armstrong Legal.
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