Unlawful possession of suspected stolen property is a criminal offence that occurs when a person is found in possession of property that they know, or reasonably ought to know, is stolen. This offence is taken seriously in Queensland, and offenders can face significant penalties, including imprisonment. If you are facing charges of this nature, it is crucial to seek the advice of an experienced criminal lawyer. In this blog post, we will explain what you need to know and how we can help.
The Law on Unlawful Possession of Suspected Stolen Property in Queensland
Section 16 of the Summary Offences Act Queensland states, “a person must not unlawfully possess a thing that is reasonably suspected of having been stolen or unlawfully obtained”.
To establish the offence, the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt that the accused had possession or control over the property and knew or reasonably ought to have known that the property was stolen.
What Are the Penalties?
The maximum penalty for this charge in Queensland is 20 penalty units or 1 year’s imprisonment.
Possible Defences to Unlawful Possession of Suspected Stolen Property in Queensland
There are several defences that may be available to you. The most common defence is that the accused did not know or have reason to suspect that the property was stolen.
Another defence is that the accused took possession of the property for a lawful purpose. For example, if the accused took possession of the property to prevent it from being damaged or destroyed, this may be a valid defence.
Other defences might be that the accused had permission to have the property, or that the accused was not in possession of the property.
How Guest Lawyers Can Assist You
If you have been charged with unlawful possession of suspected stolen property, Guest Lawyers can help. Our experienced criminal lawyers can provide you with expert legal advice and representation for a range of criminal charges, including assault, theft and traffic offences. We understand that facing criminal charges can be a stressful and overwhelming experience; our team will work with you to ensure that you understand the charges against you and the potential consequences. We will also explore all possible defences and strategies to achieve the best possible outcome for you. We offer a free initial consultation, during which we will assess your case and provide you with an honest and transparent assessment of your options. To arrange your free initial consultation, call us on 07 3211 3007 or get in touch via our online form.