Introduction: Understanding The Offence

In Victoria, the offence of Dealing With Property Suspected of Being Proceeds of Crime is found in section 195 of the Crimes Act 1958. It is a criminal offence committed by a person found in possession of property which the Police suspect to be stolen or obtained via a criminal act. Have you been accused of this offence? Here’s what you need to know.

Police Interview

If the police contact you to interview you about allegations of Dealing with Property Suspected of Being Proceeds of Crime, speaking with one of our defence lawyers first is essential. Questions you may have include:
  • Will I be remanded?
  • Will the Police leave me alone if I tell my side of the story?
  • Will it help if I answer some questions and say ‘no comment’ to other questions?
How you conduct yourself in a police interview for this offence is extremely important. Speaking with a lawyer prior to your interview will assist you in navigating the process and put you in the best position to deal with this charge.

Pleading Not Guilty

Our lawyers have vast experience defending people charged with this crime. We will review the evidence, consider whether the police have reasonable grounds to suspect the property is proceeds of crime, and critique the police case. If appropriate, we may request further evidence from the police or gather evidence to demonstrate that the property was legitimately obtained.

Pleading Guilty

If you decide to plead guilty, our experienced lawyers will help you prepare a thorough plea in mitigation. We will prepare submissions, gather character evidence, and direct you to offence-specific courses to demonstrate evidence of rehabilitation. Whether or not you prepare a considered plea with our assistance will impact the type of sentence you receive and may be the difference between a conviction or non-conviction sentence.


Sentencing for this offence can be found in both the higher courts and the Magistrates’ Courts of Australia. Dealing with property suspected of being proceeds of crime is normally heard in the Magistrates’ Court but can also be heard in the County Court.

Examples of Dealing With Property Suspected of Being Proceeds of Crime

  • The police find a large amount of cash in an unemployed man’s home.
  • A CEO convicted of tax evasion has luxury vehicles seized by the Federal Police.
  • Money and weapons are seized when a drug operation is shut down by the Federal Police.


This offence is detailed in section 195 of the Crimes Act 1958 (Vic).

Elements of the Offence

For a guilty verdict, the court must establish:
  • The accused dealt with property.
  • The property was suspected of being proceeds of crime.
  • The suspicion was on reasonable grounds.


  • The property was legitimately purchased/obtained.
  • There could not be a reasonable suspicion that the property was proceeds of crime.
  • Other defences may apply, depending on the unique circumstances of the alleged offence.

Questions in Cases Like This

  • How did you get the property?
  • Is there a legitimate/legal reason for you having the property?

Questions a Judge Will Ask

A judge will ask the jury to consider:
  • Is it reasonable to believe that the property was stolen?
  • What is a reasonable excuse?
  • Did the accused have the property in their possession?
  • What does it mean to be in possession?
  • Did the accused have a lawful excuse for possessing the property?

Maximum Penalty of Section 195 of the Crimes Act 1958

The maximum penalty for the offence of Dealing With Property Suspected of Being Proceeds of Crime (s195 of the Crimes Act 1958) is level 7 imprisonment (2 years).


Dealing With Property Suspected of Being Proceeds of Crime is a serious offence with significant legal complexities. Whether you are facing a police interview, deciding how to plead, or navigating the complexities of sentencing, expert legal guidance is essential. Contact us today to discuss your case and learn how we can assist you in navigating this complex legal terrain.  

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