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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."
Asset forfeiture is the confiscation of assets from a person who is suspected of involvement in criminal activity. There are certain situations where a person can be required to forfeit their assets to law enforcement agencies by an Asset Forfeiture Order.
What Is An Asset Forfeiture Order?
An Asset Forfeiture Order can be issued by the District Court or the Supreme Court. Asset Forfeiture Orders are applied for by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions (CDPP) or the Australian Federal Police (AFP).
The CDPP or the AFP may apply for an Asset Forfeiture Order if a person is convicted of a serious offence. Under Section 18.1 of the Confiscation of Proceeds of Crimes Act 1989 (NSW) the assets can be seized if the court is satisfied that the property is related to the offence, for example, a car bought with the money from a drug deal.
When Can A Forfeiture Order Be Issued?
The court may issue an Assets Forfeiture Order in these scenarios:
- After a person has been convicted of a serious offence. Section 338 of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 defines a serious offence as an indictable offence that involves narcotics; is related to money laundering; or causes a benefit or loss of $10,000 and has a maximum penalty of at least three years.
- When a person has not been convicted of a crime, for example when the government has suspicions about the origins of the person’s assets.
- When a person is being investigated by the police and no charge has been laid but it is expected one will be laid within 48 hours.
Law enforcement agencies can make various orders related to the forfeiture of assets. The type of order that will be sought will depend on whether or not the person has been charged with an offence and whether or not that charge relates to an NSW or Commonwealth offence.
A freezing order prevents the party hiding or disposing of any assets. Authorities can impose a freezing order if they have reason to believe that a person may remove assets from the jurisdiction or hide them. A freezing order can be obtained before commencing court proceedings. However the applicant will need to prove that the proceedings will begin shortly and that they are likely to succeed. They must also show that the freezing order is essential for the pending proceedings. It is much easier to obtain a freezing order after the court has finalised a matter because the court will not be as concerned about the order’s impact on the ability of other parties to use or dispose of the property subject to a freezing order.
A restraining order can only be imposed by a court in limited circumstances. These include:
- Where a person has been convicted or charged with a serious indictable offence;
- Where a person is under suspicion of committing a serious indictable offence;
- Where it is suspected that the property is tainted property and originated from the proceeds of crime.
A restraining order prevents a person getting rid of property. For example, if a person bought a boat and police suspect that the boat was bought with the proceeds of crime then a restraining order will stop the offender from selling or otherwise disposing of the boat.
The District Court or Supreme Court can issue a restraining order even before a person has been convicted of committing an offence.
Pecuniary Penalty Order
A pecuniary penalty order forces an offender to pay a financial penalty for the benefits obtained from criminal activity. A pecuniary penalty order application can be made at the same time as an asset forfeiture order. An application for a pecuniary penalty order can be made after a person has been convicted of a serious offence under Section 24 of the Confiscation of Proceeds of Crime Act.
Unexplained Wealth Orders
In some circumstances, the police may apply to the Supreme Court for an unexplained wealth order. This is an order to reclaim the person’s wealth when they have been unable to show that they obtained their wealth legitimately. It will only be issued if the Supreme Court is satisfied that there are reasonable grounds to suspect:
- that the person was involved in serious criminal activity; or
- that the person obtained property directly or indirectly from criminal activity; or
- that the person’s wealth was obtained unlawfully.
What Government Agencies Can The Property Be Forfeited To?
Assets can be forfeited to agencies including the Director of Public Prosecutions (state and federal) and police (state and federal).
Challenging an Order
If you are subject to one of these orders it is important to consult a specialist lawyer who can apply to the Supreme Court on your behalf to exclude property from a forfeiture order.
If you need legal advice in any legal matter please contact Armstrong Legal.
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