FARJOUD LAW – TORONTO CRIMINAL LAWYER
PROCEEDS OF CRIMES LAWYER
What Are Proceeds of Crime Charges?
Proceeds of Crime charges deal with offences involving money and/or property obtained through illegal activities, as well as laundering of proceeds from a crime.
Proceeds of Crime according to the Criminal Code of Canada, is defined as:
Any advantage, benefit, or property, either within or outside of Canada, which was obtained or derived indirectly or directly as a result of the commission of a designated criminal offence in Canada or an omission or act, anywhere, either in or outside of Canada that would have resulted in the commission of a designated criminal offence had it occurred within Canada.
Laundering the Proceeds of Crime is defined in Section 462.3 of the Criminal Code as follows:
Anyone commits this offence when they use, transfers the possession of, delivers or sends to another place or person, alters, transfers, transmits, deals with, or disposes of, by any means or in any manner, any property or the proceeds from property with the intention to conceal or convert the property or the proceeds, with the knowledge or belief that part of or all of the property or the proceeds were obtained or derived, either indirectly or directly, as the result of the commission of a designated criminal offences in Canada, or any omission or act either in or outside of Canada that would have resulted in the commission of a designated criminal offence had it occurred within Canada.
Punishments for Proceeds of Crime
Laundering the Proceeds of Crime is a hybrid offence and can be prosecuted as either an indictable offence or a summary conviction.
If convicted and found guilty as an indictable offence, the maximum imprisonment period is ten years, regardless of the monetary value of the property.
If convicted and found guilty on summary conviction, there still is the possibility of being imprisoned.
In addition, if convicted and found guilty of possession of a Proceeds of Crime offence, which is not deemed as a laundering offence, the Crown and court considers the monetary value of the property.
For offences under $5,000, the maximum imprisonment period is two years.
For offences over $5,000, the maximum imprisonment period is ten years.
Proceeds of Crime Offences FAQs
This next section covers some of the more frequently asked questions (FAQs) about Proceeds of Crime Offences.
Could I be charged for multiple offences besides Proceeds of a Crime Offences?
It depends upon the circumstances in your particular case. If you were trafficking property you had previously stolen, and there was evidence you were the one, who stole the property, then the Crown could potentially charge you with a property offence.
Does there have to be an exchange of money to be charged?
No. Any attempt to conceal, transfer, or convert the property in any manner, regardless of whether money was exchanged is irrelevant. Even giving away the property for free or in exchange for other property of value could result in being charged.
What if I had no knowledge the property was proceeds of a crime?
With Proceeds of Crime offences, the Crown must prove beyond a reasonable doubt, specific circumstances, based on the charges:
For possession offenses, the Crown must establish the property was obtained through criminal activities.
Next, they must prove you were in possession of the property and were aware, had knowledge of, or suspected the property was obtained through criminal activities, yet failed to inquire whether property was obtain illegally (willful blindness, which can be used to replace the knowledge element of the offence)
For laundering offences, in addition to the above, the Crown must prove you were aware you were sourcing the property illegally and it was not being obtained from a legitimate source.
For instance, you purchased flat screen TVs from a person selling them out of a truck, were aware or suspected he had been obtained illegally, and then turned around and resold the televisions.
As such, if you truly were unaware the property was proceeds of a crime, it does not necessary mean you will not be charged. However, your lack of knowledge could potentially be used to build a strategic defence to the charges but the assistance of a criminal defence lawyer in Toronto is crucial.
Should I take a plea agreement if one is offered for a Proceeds of Crime Offence?
It may not be in your best interests to take a plea agreement for a Proceeds of Crime Offence. The judge does not have to adhere to the agreement offer when it comes to sentencing. Judges have the option to disregard the agreement and determine their own sentencing and punishment for the offence, if you plead guilty to the charges.
Before accepting a plea agreement, you will want to discuss the potential implications and find out what other options you could have available with a criminal defence lawyer. There are several potential defences, which could be used to fight the charges that you might be unaware of, due to the complexities of the law.
What if I have knowledge a family member or roommate is in possession of or laundering property obtained through a crime?
If you reside in the same home as them, there is the likelihood you could be charged too, since the police may believe you have knowledge depending on the circumstances. To protect your interests and rights, it is highly recommended to contact a criminal defence lawyer to discuss the matter in more detail and obtain proper legal advice. Lawyers are bound by confidentiality requirements, so discussing the matter is completely confidential.
Note to readers: This article is solely for informational purposes and should not be considered legal advice. In order to ensure the protection of your rights and interests, please consult a criminal defence lawyer prior to acting or relying upon any information.
CONTACT FARJOUD LAW
If you or someone you care about has been charged with drug possession offence, it is in your best interests to speak directly to a criminal defence lawyer in North York, Toronto to find out your rights and get your questions answered. Call Farjoud Law now at (647) 606-6776 to speak with a criminal lawyer to discuss your matter. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
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