$5800 cash found in a McDonalds Bin – Possession of Proceeds Charge Discontinued

In September 2019, a search warrant was executed on our client’s address.

At that time police located $5800 concealed in a dirty burger box in a McDonalds bag inside a bin at the residence. Police also located $300 in our client’s pocket, 53 Diazepam tablets and 3 Nitrazepam tablets.

When questioned about the cash located, our client stated to police that the $300 cash was his but that he had not seen the $5800 cash before nor did he know who it belonged to.

Following the search, our client was charged with Possession of property suspected of being the proceeds of an offence under the Drugs Misuse Act and two charges of possessing dangerous drugs.

The charges were listed for a summary trial and the full brief of evidence was ordered.

Section 10A(1)(d) of the Drugs Misuse Act 1986 (Qld) provides that a person who has in his or her possession any property (other than a dangerous drug, hypodermic syringe or needle) reasonably suspected of being the proceeds of an offence who does not give an account satisfactory to the Court of how the person came by or had such property in the person’s possession commits an offence against this Act. The maximum penalty prescribed is 2 years imprisonment. George v Rockett (1990) 170 CLR 104, 112 defines “reasonably suspected” as “suspected on reasonable grounds.” This requires sufficient facts to induce that state of mind in a reasonable person.

A submission was sent by our office to seeking the Proceeds charge be discontinued given a relative claimed he was the owner of the money located at our client’s house (unbeknown to our client at the time). Further as there was an absence of any other evidence that could establish a reasonable suspicion the cash located was proceeds. It was not the case that tick sheets, drug related messages, large quantities of dangerous drugs or drug paraphernalia were located at the dwelling. The submission was rejected by Police Prosecutions.

Counsel was engaged and a further submission was sent to Police Prosecutions to resolve the need for a summary trial. As a result of the negotiations, Prosecutions agreed to offer no evidence with respect to the Proceeds charge and to roll the two Possessing dangerous drugs charges into one charge.

The remaining charge of possessing a dangerous drug was finalised before the Richlands Magistrates Court. Our client suffered from longstanding anxiety and had previously been prescribed diazepam. However, on the offence date he did not hold a valid prescription for diazepam. Our client entered a plea of guilty to the one charge and a fine of $300 was imposed. Our client was happy with the result.

If you are interested in our criminal lawyers acting on your behalf, please call Samantha O’Connor on 3009 8452 or 0435 575 867.

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