There are circumstances in which a person suspected of involvement in criminal conduct can be forced to forfeit their assets or money to law enforcement agencies. Not only can these proceedings be extremely stressful, but they involve a complicated area of law. If you are facing asset seizure or forfeiture orders, contact Josh McKenzie and James McLoughlin at McKenzie McLoughlin Law. They are experienced in matters of this type and can give you honest, reliable and trustworthy legal advice and representation.
What are the basic rules and information about asset forfeiture?
It is important for people to be aware that there are three situations where asset forfeiture can be ordered. They include situations where:
- It follows conviction of a serious offence.
- Where there has been no conviction.
- Where there has been no charge, but a charge is expected to be laid within 48 hours.
This means that whenever a person benefits from the commission of a criminal offence, whether or not they have been convicted (found guilty), any property or money gained as a consequence of that offence may be forfeited to the Crown.
Which agencies can assets be forfeited to?
Assets may be forfeited to one of the following agencies:
- NSW Director of Public of Prosecutions (DPP)
- NSW Police
- NSW Crime Commission
- Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions (CDPP)
What are some examples of the orders made?
Common examples of orders made to the DPP and Police include where a person is convicted of a serious offence which is an indictable offence.
Those orders include ‘restraining orders’ (restrictions on disposing property specified in the order), ‘forfeiture orders’ (order allowing the State to confiscate and dispose of property), a ‘pecuniary penalty order’ (order compelling an offender to pay money for benefits derived from crime), or a ‘drug proceeds order’ (order compelling an offender to pay money for benefits derived from a drug trafficking offence).
In respect of forfeiture orders to the Crime Commission, confiscation orders can be made in circumstance where a person is suspected of involvement in a serious criminal activity.
In respect of applications for confiscation to the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions, such an application can be made if a person is convicted or suspected of involvement in a serious offence. A ‘serious offence’ includes any offence against the law of the Commonwealth that is punishable by imprisonment for at least 3 years.
Why McKenzie McLoughlin Law?
Asset confiscation and forfeiture orders are a complicated area of law. Having focused on this area of law regularly as part of their time with the Police and DPP, Josh and James will give you honest legal advice based upon the circumstances of the application against you. At McKenzie McLoughlin Law, we are passionate about getting the best results for our clients. If you are dealing with an asset forfeiture or confiscation application, contact Josh and James for representation today.