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Proceeds of Crime (Vic)

In Victoria, it is an offence to accept ownership of, or responsibility for, property or money after a crime. Offences of this nature are dealt with under section 88 and sections 194-195A of the Crimes Act 1958. The accused person need not be involved in the actual theft of property, or necessarily be aware of the details of a theft, to be charged with crimes of this nature.

The Victorian legislation provides for a variety of offences and associated maximum penalties depending on the level of knowledge the accused had. In circumstances where the accused knew the property was stolen, and they intended to conceal or take ownership of the stolen property, the penalty will be much higher than for other offenders.

Conversely, if an accused person did not know, but was negligent as to whether the property was stolen, the maximum penalty is much less. As an example, this offence might occur in circumstances where the accused’s partner came home one day with a new car, but the car had no number plates. The accused did not ask any questions and started using the car. In these circumstances, Victoria Police might charge the accused with being negligent as to whether or not the car was stolen.

Proceeds of crime offences may be heard in either the Magistrates’ Court or the County Court of Victoria. Factors such as the value of the stolen property, the knowledge of the accused and the record of the accused will be relevant to the most appropriate forum for the hearing of the offending.

The pages below give more detailed information about these offences.

If you require legal advice or representation in any legal matter, please contact Armstrong Legal.

Michelle Makela

This article was written by Michelle Makela

Michelle has over 15 years experience in the legal industry, working across commercial litigation, criminal law, family law and estate planning.  Michelle has been involved in all practice areas of the firm and in her personal practice has had experience in litigation at all levels (State and Federal Industrial Tribunals, the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal, the Federal Court, Federal...

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