Charged with Handling Stolen Goods or Recent Possession?
Handling Stolen Goods and Recent Possession can be charged against you where there is evidence of you handling or possessing stolen goods but the Police do not have direct evidence that you are the person who stole the goods.
Handling Stolen Goods – the Prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt that you handled goods; that the goods were stolen when you handled them; that you knew or believed that they were stolen goods; and your handling of the goods was dishonest.
Recent Possession – the Prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt, that you had and intended to have custody or control of stolen goods; that the goods had recently been stolen; and that there is no reasonable explanation for your possession of the stolen goods.
In the Magistrates’ Court between 2011 and 2014 charges of Handling Stolen Goods resulted in the following sentences:
- Imprisonment in 33.7% of cases
- A Suspended Sentence (which is no longer available) in 10.6% of cases
- A Community Correction Order in 25% of cases
- A Fine in 13.3% of cases
- A Good Behaviour Bond / Dismissal / Discharge in 7.8% of cases
Your penalty will depend on the facts of your case such as the value of the goods and whether your offending was opportunistic or planned.
Your personal circumstances and whether you have prior convictions for similar offences, will have a big impact on your penalty.
You could receive Diversion, a Fine, a Community Corrections Order, or Imprisonment depending on the facts and the quality of the plea made on your behalf. If the goods were damaged or not returned to the owner, you might also be ordered to pay compensation.