Goods In Custody – s 527C Crimes Act

Accused of being unlawfully in possession of property suspected of being stolen by police is stressful. Our criminal defence lawyers are leaders, with an exceptional track record in securing not guilty verdicts, getting charges dropped early, and convincing the court to give a s10 non conviction record, countless times for over 20 years.

Call us now on (02) 8606 2218 to book a free first consultation with an experienced Criminal Defence Lawyer.

Your Options in Court

You can only be found guilty to this offence if police can prove each of the following 2 elements of the charge beyond reasonable doubt in court:

  • You either:
    • Had anything in your custody, or the custody of another person; or
    • Had anything in premises, whether it belonged to you or not, or whether it’s there for the use for yourself or another person; or
    • You gave custody of it to a person not lawfully entitled to possessing it; and
  • There is a reasonable suspicion that the goods were stolen or unlawfully obtained

Your charge will be dismissed, and you will be not guilty if police are unable to prove each of the above elements to the offence.

The ‘thing’ in question can include cash.

Defences to this charge

You will be Not Guilty if:

  • You convince the court that, on the balance of probabilities, you had no reasonable grounds for suspecting that the items, goods or property, was stolen or unlawfully obtained. A mere suspicion is not enough.
  • You didn’t have any knowledge or control of the property in question.
  • There is no basis, in the circumstances and evidence, to find that there is a suspicion on reasonable grounds, that the goods were unlawfully obtained.
  • Mistaken identity.
  • In the circumstances, there is a reasonable possibility that the goods were placed there or controlled by someone other than you.
  • Duress or Necessity: Where you were coerced or threatened, or committed the offence to avoid serious injury to yourself or another.

You will be found not guilty, and your charge dismissed if any one of the above defences to this offence apply to your case.

Our senior lawyers have a proven success record, as specialist leaders, in getting these charges dropped early. They have successfully proven their clients innocence countless times for over 20 years. Speak to them now on (02) 8606 2218 to strengthen your best defence early.

If pleading guilty to an offence of unlawfully in possession of property or goods in custody, read the following Important tips on how to prepare your case to maximise your chances at getting a s10 to avoid a criminal record.

25% Discount on punishment

You will receive a 25% discount on your punishment, resulting in a more lenient outcome and better result, simply by pleading guilty at the earliest possible time in your case to the offence of unlawfully in possession of property or goods in custody. This can assist in getting a s10 to avoid a criminal record.

That discount begins the reduce the later the plead of guilty is entered in court. For this why it’s critical to obtain advice as early as possible in your case from an experienced lawyer.

Good character references

This is a letter the Judge will read from family, friends, charity, work and apology letter from you. If it expresses the main points, it can allow a Judge to consider giving you a much more lenient outcome, such as avoiding a conviction, by getting a s10.

The letters should express your good character, remorse, contrition, shame and insight for maximum results. Our lawyer will guide you in the process.

Negotiate to drop charges

By very carefully reading the police evidence, you can pick out all the holes in it, and then use this tactfully when approaching police to negotiate to get the charges dropped.

Our senior lawyers specialise in this, having achieved an exceptional proven record of successfully convincing police to drop charges early countless times for over 20 years.

Negotiate facts

The Judge will punish you based on what is in the police set of facts, which is a document initially drafted by police expressing your offending behaviour which you plead guilty to. Often this document is one sided, inaccurate and paints you in a very bad light, resulting in a heavier punishment.

For this reason, you can carefully pick out all the holes in the police evidence, and use this to negotiate with police to change those facts to make it far more favourable to you, often resulting in a much better outcome, to even avoid a conviction (s10).

Psychologist reports

Obtaining a powerful court report from a highly respected psychologist or psychiatrist for the Judge to read can significantly improve your court result, with a much more lenient outcome. It can certainly increase your chances at getting a s10 non conviction.

For best possible result, the report should comment on your mental state, remorse, insight and shame. It may also express some explanation to your offence. Our lawyers will carefully hand select the best suited expert to your case.

Maximum penalty

The maximum punishment for an offence of unlawfully possessing property or goods in custody is a term of imprisonment of up to 1 year, and/or fine $1,100, if the property is a car or part of a car or vessel.

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

Those maximum punishments are only given to the most serious cases, and rarely given by courts. In fact, there is generally, a reasonably good chance at convincing a Judge to give you a s10 to avoid a criminal record.

Types of penalties

The Judge will give you any one of the following types of punishment depending on how you prepared and presented your case:

  1. Section 10 Dismissal
  2. Conditional Release Order
  3. Fine
  4. Community Correction Order
  5. Intensive Correction Order
  6. Full Time Imprisonment

Speak to one of our specialist criminal defence lawyers for experienced, and realistic advice and guidance on how to maximise your chances at avoiding a criminal record with a s10. In respect to goods in custody charges, our lawyers have an exceptional track record of successfully achieving s10’s countless times for over 20 years.

Call us now on (02) 8606 2218 to book a free first consultation with an experienced Criminal Defence Lawyer.