Goods in custody

What is the offence of Goods in Custody?

The offence of Goods in custody is found at section 527C of the Crimes Act 1900.

Goods in custody offences are often successfully defended where a person can provide a reasonable establish they had no reasonable grounds for suspecting a good was stolen or unlawfully obtained e.g. by providing a receipt, oral evidence of how the good was obtained, etc. Police also often charge a person under the wrong section of the offence, which provides a basis for dismissal of the charge because it cannot be amended 6 months following the commission of the offence e.g. where the goods are not found on a person but he is charged with having them in his immediate possession.

If you are charged with the offence of Goods in custody, your options will normally be to plead guilty or not guilty.

Pleading not guilty

You will be found not guilty of the offence of Goods in custody if the police cannot prove beyond reasonable doubt the following elements:

  1. You:
    1. Had any thing in his or her custody; or
    2. You had any thing in the custody of another person; or
    3. You had any thing in or on premises, whether belonging to or occupied by yourself or not, or whether that thing is there for your use or the use of  another; or
    4. You give custody of any thing to a person who is not lawfully entitled to possession of the thing.
  2. 2. And that thing may be reasonably suspected of being stolen or otherwise unlawfully obtained.

Where the police allege you had custody of a good on a premises but the good is found in a communal place, police must negate possession on the part of any other person, e.g. other occupants of the house which you live or other people who have access to a car.

Police must charge you under either a-d above and often charge a person for the wrong offence, which forms a basis for the charges to be dismissed if 6 months have passed.

What are defences to Goods in custody?

If the police are able to prove the above elements beyond reasonable doubt, you will still be found not guilty if the court is satisfied that you had no reasonable grounds for suspecting the thing was stolen or unlawfully obtained.

Other defences include:

Contact our offices at Sydney, Parramatta, Blacktown and Redfern to organise a time for one of our criminal lawyers to advise you of your prospects of successfully defending the charge of Goods in custody.

Pleading guilty

If you agree that you have committed the offence (and the police are able to prove so), it is best to plead guilty as you will normally receive a discount on sentence and it will demonstrate remorse and contrition. Alternatively, it may be the case that one of our experienced solicitors can negotiate with prosecutors for you to plead guilty to less serious facts or even a less serious charge.

Goods in custody carries a maximum penalty of 6 months imprisonment in the Local Court. However, these penalties are typically reserved for the worst offenders. Our solicitors have a proven track record of not only keeping our clients out of gaol but also, depending on the seriousness of the allegation, having the offence dealt with by way of section 10 of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act, meaning no conviction will be recorded, there is no other penalty and you will have no criminal record. To find out more about a section 10, click here.

Penalties that a court can impose in NSW are:

Why choose AC Law Group?

Our solicitors are experts at obtaining the best outcome possible for Goods in custody offences. For these offences, a good lawyer can be the difference between a conviction and no criminal record and freedom or gaol. To read more about AC Law Group, click here.

To discuss your Goods in custody charge, call AC Law Group at our Sydney, Parramatta, Blacktown and Redfern offices or make a website inquiry today.

Case Study

Ac Law Group appeared for an accused person charged with Goods in Custody of a phone. He had been charged with having the phone in his personal custody when the phone was found in his car. Our solicitor submitted to the Magistrate that the Accused person had been charged with the wrong offence and the charge was dismissed and our client was found not guilty.

Case Study

Mr Correy appeared for an accused person who had been found with $4000.00 dollars in his custody. At the time of the his arrest, another person had jumped from a car and fled leaving a quantity of drugs near the car. Mr Correy submitted there was no reason to suspect the money on the Accused person he represented was unlawfully obtained on account of the conduct of another. The Magistrate agreed and dismissed the charge.

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