An Insight into Possession Offences to help you know your rights
There are many laws in Australia related to possession of various substances and items. There are laws that prohibit a person from keeping restricted drugs, stolen weapons, stolen goods and other related items. In case any person is charged with a possession offence, the following are some of the issues they may raise to challenge the nature of the crime they have been accused-
The police of the area can only be allowed to search the property of the person –
- With the permission granted by the owner of the occupier of the property
- Search warrant
- Suspicious that unlawful activity or goods that you keep on the premises of the property
- Arrest an individual who has committed the offence
- When someone complains about nuisance or breach of peace
- To preserve the evidence which they believe might be destroyed in the future or protect another individual related to the case.
Items seized can be used as evidence in a competent court of law
Once the police have entered the property legally, they have the right to search the property and use any item, substance or material found during this search as evidence. The best criminal lawyer Perth firms state that in case the police have entered the property or the premises unlawfully, any search made is illegal and affects the strength of the legal case that arises from that search.
What about items and products found in cars or homes?
In case, the police find any prohibited item in your car or home; the police charge you as you are the driver of the vehicle and the occupier of the house. In case items or products are found, you have a defence to this charge of possession in the event of-
- Being wrongly identified to be the occupier or the owner of the property
- To be mistakenly identified as the driver of the car
- You do not know that the prohibited item was in your vehicle or property.
In such a case, you are advised to consult the best criminal lawyer to help you with laws relating to this possession and the situation. If you believe that you had been searched illegally by the police consult a criminal lawyer immediately.
Check whether the police has a warrant
You must always ask for a search warrant that has been signed by a third party generally a court of justice for searching the premises legally. This warrant only legally allows the police to enter the premises. When they enter the premises and come across an item, they have the right to seize the material and use it as evidence in a competent court of law against you. In case, the police do not have a search warrant; they still have the legal right to search your premises if they have reasonable suspicion or belief that illegal items are present there. However, note that they cannot use this power all the time; it can only be exercised by the police when there is a high suspicion of doubt.