Goods in custody charges NSW
The possession of property likely to have been stolen is commonly known as “goods in custody”. This offence is criminalised under section 527C(1) of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) and referred to as “persons unlawfully in possession of property”. It occurs when:
- A person had anything either in their custody, in the custody of another person, on their premises, or they gave custody to a person not lawfully entitled to possession, and
- That thing may be reasonably suspected of being stolen or unlawfully obtained.
Goods in custody examples
Examples of goods in custody include:
- Buying a new TV from someone selling it on the street.
- Accepting a gift of clothes that still have the security tag on.
The potential penalties for this offence depend on the type of property stolen or unlawfully obtained.
If the property was a motor vehicle or vessel (or a part of either), then the maximum penalty is one year imprisonment and/or a fine of 10 penalty units. For any other type of property, the maximum penalty is six months imprisonment and/or a fine of five penalty units. The penalty unit amount at the time of this writing (June 2021) is $110.
People can receive a broad range of penalties for this offence including a fine, Conditional Release Order, or Community Correction Order. It is also possible for no conviction to be recorded.
Receiving stolen property
Dealing with stolen property is a crime under section 188 of the Crimes Act. The offence is called “receiving stolen property” and occurs where:
- Property has been stolen, and
- A person receives, or disposes of, or attempts to dispose of the property,
- Knowing that it has been stolen.
Receiving stolen property examples
Examples of receiving goods in custody include:
- Buying headphones from someone who told you they’d been stolen.
- Spending cash your friend took from someone’s handbag.
What is the penalty for receiving stolen goods?
Receiving stolen goods is a more serious offence than goods in custody, and carries more significant penalties.
The penalties for this offence depend on the type of property received. If the property is a motor vehicle or vessel (or a part of either), then the maximum penalty is 12 years imprisonment. For any other types of property, the maximum penalty is 10 years imprisonment.
If the offence remains in the Local Court, then the maximum penalty is two years imprisonment.