A person charged with a criminal offence, especially (but not only) drug related and dishonesty offences, risks having property associated with the offending initially restrained (so that it cannot be sold or otherwise affected) and subsequently forfeited to the State.
In almost every major drug prosecution, for example cultivation of a commercial quantity of cannabis or trafficking in a drug of dependence, the Proceeds of Crime Directorate of the Office of Public Prosecutions, will make application to the County or Supreme Court to have the property, in which the cannabis was grown or from which the drug was trafficked, restrained. Similarly, where the Police claim that wealth is unexplained, they can apply to restrain properties, including rental proceeds, putting an incredible strain on the accused / respondent. Often, the offender’s spouse or partner, who has not offended at all, will have his or her interest in the property restrained as well and be liable to have the interest forfeited.
The consequences to the offender and his or her family are substantial and are often disproportionate to the offending. In some cases, the forfeiture is automatic upon conviction for an offence, so obtaining legal advice from experienced criminal defence lawyers at the earliest stage is essential. This is particularly so because there are strict time limits for exclusion applications to be made to try and stop the properties being confiscated and forfeited to the State. Many criminal law firms in Melbourne do not practice confiscation law because of the nature of the commercial knowledge required in understanding the complicated Confiscations legislation, which governs this area. This is where the criminal defence lawyers in our Melbourne office are different.
Over the years, however, the trusted criminal defence lawyers at Galbally Parker have acquired extensive knowledge in this area and are thereby able to assist those who have been charged criminally and whose property interests have been restrained without the need for the client to seek advice from a commercial law firm thus providing the client with a “one stop” solution to their legal issues. Contact us by email via email@example.com or telephone (9670 8771) if you have received a Restraining Order or Application for Confiscation.