Proceeds of Crime Lawyers- Queensland

Proceeds of Crime

Section 252 Criminal Proceeds Confiscation Act (Qld)

Get informed about the law, defences, and penalties in Queensland

Proceeds of crime offences exist to make it unlawful to receive or possess property that is tainted by crime. While proceeds of crime laws are often used in relation to drug offences, their reach under the Criminal Proceeds Confiscation Act 2002 (Qld) and Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (Cth) covers all types of serious criminal offences.

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Proceeds of Crime

Anderson Legal defends individuals facing criminal allegations relating to violent offences and misconduct.


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Proceeds of Crime

Anderson Legal defends individuals facing criminal allegations relating to violent offences and misconduct.

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Proceeds of Crime Charges

Before you can properly defend yourself against an allegation of any kind, you need to understand it.
This section deals with the following:
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Proceeds of Crime Charges

Before you can properly defend yourself against an allegation of any kind, you need to understand it.
This section deals with the following:
Criminal Defence Image

Queensland Law

Section 252 Criminal Proceeds Confiscation Act (Qld)

Section 252 of the Criminal Proceeds Confiscation Act (Qld) makes possession of suspected tainted property an offence in Queensland. The law states:

252 Possession etc. of property suspected of being tainted property

A person must not receive, possess, dispose of, bring into Queensland, conceal or disguise property that may reasonably be suspected of being tainted property.

Beyond the offence of possessing tainted property, there are also money laundering offences that may be charged against people who knowingly or recklessly engage in money laundering.

Meaning of ‘Tainted Property’

The Criminal Proceeds Confiscation Act (Qld) defines ‘tainted property’ in section 104(1) to mean:

104 Meaning of tainted property

(1) Tainted property, for a confiscation offence, means—

(a) property used, or intended to be used, by a person in, or in connection with, the commission of the offence; or

(b) property or another benefit derived by a person from property mentioned in paragraph (a); or

(c) property or another benefit derived by a person from the commission of the offence; or

(d) if the offence is money laundering, property mentioned in section 250(2)(a); or

(e) if the offence is against section 252(1), property mentioned in that subsection.

Beyond the definition set out in section 104 of the Criminal Proceeds Confiscation Act (Qld), ‘tainted property’ is further defined in section 252(4) to include “property that is tainted property because of an interstate confiscation offence’.

Other Definitions

The Criminal Proceeds Confiscation Act (Qld), in Schedule 6, also contains other definitions relevant to the proceeds of crime offence of possessing tainted property. The word “conceal” is defined to include an “attempt to conceal”. The definition of “reasonably suspect” is “suspect on grounds that are reasonable in the circumstances”. The word “suspect”


Possible Defences

The ‘presumption of innocence’

When people think about a ‘defence’ to a charge, they are generally thinking about what makes them ‘not guilty’ of the offence. Because of the presumption of innocence, whenever a person faces a proceeds of crime offence in Queensland, such as possessing tainted property, it is for the prosecution to prove they are guilty – and to do so beyond a reasonable doubt. What that means in practical terms is that it is for the prosecution to disprove any defences that may be raised on the evidence. However, there is a reverse onus with respect to the specific defence in section 252(2) of the Criminal Proceeds Confiscation Act (Qld), which means that the law places an onus on the person charged to satisfy the court of their defence.

The rationale for reversing the onus and requiring the person charged to satisfy the court of a specific defence derives from the notion that an offence of this kind involves information that is only within the knowledge of the defendant. The Explanatory Notes to the draft legislation, which became the Criminal Proceeds Confiscation Act (Qld), stated in relation to the offence in section 252:

“The onus on the defendant, in proving the defence, must be satisfied to the civil standard. Placing the onus of satisfying the court in relation to the defence on the defendant is justified as it relates to matters that are peculiarly within the defendant’s knowledge.”

How are defences raised on the evidence?

A defence may be raised on the evidence of both the prosecution and the defence. That is, people who give witness statements to police may indicate that an event occurred because of a mistaken belief as to a relevant fact, or that it was an accident, or otherwise claim a right to have acted as they did. Generally speaking, the prosecution have an obligation to call all material witnesses at a trial – even those unfavourable to its case. Alternatively, a person charged with an offence may also call their own witnesses at a trial, which may provide the basis for a defence to be raised.

One of the important roles of a criminal lawyer is to identify, as early as possible, the relevant defences that may apply in a given case. The reason it is important to do it as early as possible is to ensure relevant witnesses are found while matters are freshest in their mind, or to prevent other evidence being lost or destroyed.

Common defences for ‘possessing tainted property’

Section 252(2) creates a specific defence for a charge of possessing suspected tainted property. It states:

If a person is charged with an offence against this section, it is a defence to the charge if the person satisfies the court that the person had no reasonable grounds for suspecting that the property mentioned in the charge was either tainted property or derived from any form of unlawful activity.

This section reverses the onus, which means it is for the defendant to prove (on the balance of probabilities) that they had no reasonable grounds for suspected that the property was tainted or derived from any form of unlawful activity. As such, it is not for the prosecution to prove that any evidence called by or for the defendant is unsatisfactory, it is for the person charged to satisfy the court of that fact.


Possible Penalties

Maximum Penalty

The maximum penalty for the offence of possessing tainted property under section 252 of the Criminal Proceeds Confiscation Act (Qld) is 100 penalty units or 2 years imprisonment.

Minimum Penalty

There is no minimum penalty for the proceeds of crime offence of possessing tainted property under section 252 the Criminal Proceeds Confiscation Act (Qld).

Sentencing in Queensland

For a charge of possessing tainted property, the Penalties and Sentences Act (Qld) sets out a range of relevant sentencing considerations. For financial crimes of this kind, the law states that the court must have regard to the following considerations:

(a) principles that—

(i) a sentence of imprisonment should only be imposed as a last resort; and

(ii) a sentence that allows the offender to stay in the community is preferable; and

(b) the maximum and any minimum penalty prescribed for the offence; and

(c) the nature of the offence and how serious the offence was, including—

(i) any physical, mental or emotional harm done to a victim, including harm mentioned in information relating to the victim given to the court under section 179K; and

(ii) the effect of the offence on any child under 16 years who may have been directly exposed to, or a witness to, the offence; and

(d) the extent to which the offender is to blame for the offence; and

(e) any damage, injury or loss caused by the offender; and

(f) the offender’s character, age and intellectual capacity; and

(g) the presence of any aggravating or mitigating factor concerning the offender; and (ga) without limiting paragraph (g), whether the offender was a participant in a criminal organisation—

(i) at the time the offence was committed; or

(ii) at any time during the course of the commission of the offence; and

(h) the prevalence of the offence; and

(i) how much assistance the offender gave to law enforcement agencies in the investigation of the offence or other offences; and

(j) time spent in custody by the offender for the offence before being sentenced; and

(k) sentences imposed on, and served by, the offender in another State or a Territory for an offence committed at, or about the same time, as the offence with which the court is dealing; and

(l) sentences already imposed on the offender that have not been served; and

(m) sentences that the offender is liable to serve because of the revocation of orders made under this or another Act for contraventions of conditions by the offender; and

(n) if the offender is the subject of a community based order—the offender’s compliance with the order as disclosed in an oral or written report given by an authorised corrective services officer; and

(o) if the offender is on bail and is required under the offender’s undertaking to attend a rehabilitation, treatment or other intervention program or course—the offender’s successful completion of the program or course; and

(p) if the offender is an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person—any submissions made by a representative of the community justice group in the offender’s community that are relevant to sentencing the offender, including, for example—

(i) the offender’s relationship to the offender’s community; or

(ii) any cultural considerations; or

(iii) any considerations relating to programs and services established for offenders in which the community justice group participates; and

(q) anything else prescribed by this Act to which the court must have regard; and

(r) any other relevant circumstance.

Possible Outcomes

A wide range of penalties may be imposed for possessing tainted property under section 252 the Criminal Proceeds Confiscation Act (Qld), ranging from bonds where no conviction may be recorded right through to a term of imprisonment. Confiscation of any property that is the subject of the charge may also be ordered, as well as other fines and penalties.

In some cases, a charge relating to proceeds of crime may be substituted for, or charged in addition to, other frauds or financial crimes. The prosecution may determine that a more or less serious charge may be appropriate, based on the evidence. Related financial crimes include:


Expert Criminal Defence

Although based in Brisbane, Anderson Legal is frequently engaged to defend people facing criminal allegations across Queensland. If you are dealing with an allegation relating to proceeds of crime and need advice and representation, Anderson Legal offers comprehensive criminal defence services for its clients. This includes:

  • providing advice relating to allegations made or documents served on our clients;
  • identifying the strengths and weaknesses of the case alleged against our clients;
  • advising clients on options relating to obtaining evidence, including expert evidence;
  • communicating on behalf of its clients with police, courts, and others;
  • resolving, where appropriate, criminal charges through negotiation;
  • representing clients in trials and setnences before all courts; and,
  • filing and litigating appeals against wrongful convictions and unjust sentences.

This firm places an emphasis on providing clear guidance so that our clients are placed in a real position to make informed decisions about their options and their preferred path forward. Anderson Legal provides clear, transparent disclosure of its legal costs at every stage.

  • Andrew Anderson, Legal Director, is an award-winning lawyer who has been independently described by the Courier Mail as “one of the best legal minds” and a “leading corporate and white-collar crime lawyer” (16 December 2021).
  • Having successfully represented litigants in the High Court of Australia, Queensland Court of Appeal, Royal Commissions, and multiple other courts dealing with trials and other hearings, Andrew Anderson has a demonstrated record of success in complex and difficult cases.
  • Prior to operating a law firm, Andrew Anderson worked as a Principal Crown Prosecutor in Queensland and barrister in private practice at 8 Petrie Terrace Chambers in Brisbane. His depth of courtroom advocacy experience ranges from straightforward cases right through to complex homicide trials and appeals.
  • Anderson Legal is a law firm that is dedicated to the best ideals of the legal profession. Seeking to exceed client expectations and fighting for justice is an everyday pursuit.

Limitations on general information

Each legal issue is unique. The information on this page and website cannot – and is not meant to – substitute legal consultation. It is designed to outline information of a general nature if you want to learn more about proceeds of crime charges, particularly as it relates to anybody facing an issue of this kind in Queensland. Anybody dealing with a proceeds of crime charge ought to obtain expert legal advice and guidance as soon as possible.

No content accessible on the website is created to provide specific legal answers or advice. It is designed to provide general information about legal matters and related concepts. It should not be used as, or in substitute of, your own legal advice or other advice as appropriate.

To the extent allowed by law, no warranty, condition, or guarantee is provided in relation to the accuracy or reliability of any information contained on this site. Content may be changed from time to time without notice.

If you face a charge relating to proceeds of crime, contact Anderson Legal. This firm provides expert advice and representation for people needing assistance to defend themselves against unjust accusations.

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On-Demand Resources

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On-Demand Resources

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On-Demand Resources

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Jury TrialsThe Jury Act 1995 (Qld) and Criminal Code 1899 (Qld) set out a range of important procedures relevant to jury trials in Queensland. Having an understanding of jury trial procedures can assist defendants, witnesses and others to know what may occur during a criminal trial.Viewcourt-processestrials-sentences
Sentencing HearingsIn Queensland, the Penalties and Sentences Act 1992 (Qld) sets out a range of sentencing guidelines, possible punishments and procedures relevant to sentencing hearings. Understanding the issues that are relevant to sentencing hearings and what influences outcomes is essential to avoiding unjust penalties and results.Viewcourt-processestrials-sentences
Evidence DisclosureIt is a fundamental to a fair trial that an accused person knows the particulars of the charge they face as well as the potential witnesses and evidence. Evidence disclosure is an essential part of the criminal justice system. Failure to disclose critical evidence can lead to miscarriages of justice, resulting in convictions being quashed.Viewcourt-processesevidence
Criminal AppealsA criminal appeal allows a person to appeal against their conviction or appeal against the severity of their sentence, in an attempt to overturn the result. Appeals often involve complex questions of law or fact. Unlike when the prosecution bears the onus of proof at trial, on appeal, the appellant must demonstrate error.Viewcourt-processescriminal-appeals
Police Seizure of EvidenceThe Police Powers and Responsibilities Act 2000 (Qld) sets out the powers of police to retain, return, and forfeit property that is seized. Important rights exist for individuals and businesses to access seized property, as well as to seek its return through applications and court orders to lessen inconvenience and disruption.Viewpolice-investigationspolice-powers
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The Right to SilenceIn Queensland, the right to silence is recognised as important but it is not an absolute right. While often relevant to police suspects facing questioning, in some situations it can be an offence to not answer questions of a person in authority. In rare cases, unfavourable inferences may be drawn because a defendant remains silent.Viewpolice-investigationscooperating-with-police
WHSQ – Coercive PowersInspectors with Work Health and Safety Queensland (WHSQ) have powers that allow them to compel people to provide information and access to documents and other records, which they may seize. They may also compel people to answer their questions. Getting advice can be crucial to understanding your rights and obligations.Viewcoercive-investigations whswork-health-safety-queensland
CCC – Coercive PowersThe Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC) is an independent agency in Queensland that has responsibility for combating major crime and corruption in Queensland. It has powers of surveillance, investigation and the use of coercive powers to gather intelligence, undertake investigations and manage enforcement proceedings.Viewcoercive-investigations corporate-crimecrime-corruption-commission
ASIC – Coercive PowersThe Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has coercive powers to compel the production of documents or other evidence relevant to an investigation. The powers are broad and non-compliance can have criminal consequences. Evidence obtained through such investigations may be used later in court proceedings.Viewcoercive-investigations corporate-crimeaustralian-securities-investments-commission
ACIC – Coercive PowersThe Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC), still also referred to as the Australian Crime Commission (ACC), conducts secretive operations and investigations into serious criminal activity. It has the power to compel individuals to participate in examinations and to serve notices to produce documents and other information.Viewcoercive-investigations corporate-crimeaustralian-criminal-intelligence-commission
Industrial ManslaughterIndustrial manslaughter is a relatively new criminal offence in Queensland, having commenced on 23 October 2017. It targets business operators and senior officers in corporations who, through negligence, cause the death of a worker the course of carrying out their work. The maximum penalty is up to 20 years imprisonment.Viewcriminal-offences whshomicide-offences penalties-prosecutions
Unlawful Striking Causing DeathIn Queensland, punishment for unlawful striking causing death carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment. Introduced to target the prevalence of 'coward punch' deaths, it removes what were common defences in cases where it is alleged the person killed was struck to the head or neck.Viewcriminal-offenceshomicide-offences
ManslaughterManslaughter may be proved in a number of ways, such as by criminal negligence or a deliberate act. An unlawful killing that does not meet the definition of murder may be deemed manslaughter. In Queensland, punishment for manslaughter carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.Viewcriminal-offenceshomicide-offences
Proceeds of CrimeProceeds of crime offences exist to make it unlawful to receive or possess property that is tainted by crime. While proceeds of crime laws are often used in relation to drug offences, their reach under the Criminal Proceeds Confiscation Act 2002 (Qld) and Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (Cth) covers all types of serious criminal offences.Viewcriminal-offencesfraud-and-financial-crimes
FraudFraud is a serious criminal offence in Queensland, which may be punishable by actual imprisonment. The essential element of the charge is proof of 'dishonesty', which requires the prosecution to prove that what a defendant did was dishonest by the standards of ordinary honest people.Viewcriminal-offencesfraud-and-financial-crimes
ExtortionExtortion is a serious criminal offence, which may be punishable by actual imprisonment. While it is most commonly charged when threats of violence are used to blackmail a person to hand over property, other forms of coercion or intimidation can give rise to the offence of extortion in Queensland.Viewcriminal-offencesfraud-and-financial-crimes violent-offences
Centrelink FraudCentrelink fraud (sometimes referred to as 'Welfare Fraud' or 'Social Security Fraud') is regarded as a serious criminal offence in Australia, which is punishable by actual imprisonment. There are a number of different charges that may apply under the Commonwealth Criminal Code for cases of this kind.Viewcriminal-offencesfraud-and-financial-crimes
Drug Importation OffencesDrug importation offences under the Commonwealth Criminal Code can attract some of the highest penalties for drug offences in Australia, which generally reflects the commercial and coordinated efforts involved in such offences. The maximum penalty for importing a commercial quantity of border controlled drugs is life imprisonment.Viewcriminal-offencesdrug-offences
Possessing Dangerous DrugsFor a drug possession case in Queensland, the prosecution sets out to prove that (1) the person charged (2) unlawfully (4) possessed (5) a dangerous drug. Penalties vary considerably, from drug diversion orders in minor cases through to lengthy terms of imprisonment for serious cases of possessing dangerous drugs.Viewcriminal-offencesdrug-offences
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Drug TraffickingFor a drug trafficking case in Queensland, the prosecution sets out to prove that (1) the person charged (2) carried on the business of (3) unlawfully (4) trafficking in a (5) dangerous drug. In Queensland, the maximum penalty for carrying on the business of unlawful trafficking is 25 years' imprisonment.Viewcriminal-offencesdrug-offences
Attempted MurderFor an attempted murder case, the prosecution sets out to prove that the person charged unlawfully attacked or did something to another person with the intention of killing them, using means capable of doing so, but without death resulting. In Queensland, the maximum penalty for attempted murder is life imprisonment.Viewcriminal-offenceshomicide-offences violent-offences
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Unlawful WoundingUnlawful wounding is a serious criminal offence, often punishable by actual imprisonment. The word 'wounding' refers to a break of the true skin, often by a sharp object. A wound may be caused in any number of ways, such as by a knife or a bottle. The maximum penalty is 7 years imprisonment.Viewcriminal-offencesviolent-offences
Assault Occasioning Bodily HarmAssault occasioning bodily harm requires proof of an unlawful assault that caused bodily harm. The term 'bodily harm' refers to any bodily injury that interferes with health or comfort. The maximum penalty is 7 years' imprisonment, although if a circumstance of aggravation applies, it rises to a maximum of 10 years' imprisonment.Viewcriminal-offencesviolent-offences
Malicious Act With IntentMalicious act with intent is a serious criminal offence, generally punishable by actual imprisonment. In Queensland, it generally is charged in cases in which a serious injury has been caused by someone who intended to cause such a result. The maximum penalty for a charge of malicious act with intent is life imprisonment.Viewcriminal-offencesviolent-offences
MurderThere are multiple definitions of what constitutes murder in Queensland, including murder by intentional harm or through ‘reckless indifference’. In Queensland, punishment for murder carries mandatory life imprisonment with a current minimum non-parole period of at least 20 years imprisonment.Viewcriminal-offenceshomicide-offences

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It is notoriously difficult to compare lawyers. Past courtroom experience and outcomes achieved do provide some basis for comparison. Andrew Anderson has an enviable record of success in contested hearings, trials and appeals.

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