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On 10 August 2018 significant changes were made to the CAC Act.

Importantly, if you are deemed to be a prescribed drug offender, all of your property is liable to forfeiture to the Crown. The legislation prescribes all property is to be forfeited. That can extend to antique furniture, jewellery, unopened alcohol, and more significant items such as motor vehicles and real property.

What is most concerning with the recent amendments is that the DPP are not required to file the ordinary application to restrain property; rather forfeiture is deemed to occur, automatically.

This means that forfeiture in these matters is not discretionary.

Somebody becomes a prescribed drug offender if they are convicted of a commercial drug offence (which include trafficking or manufacturing commercial and/or large commercial quantities of controlled drugs) or is convicted for their third prescribed drug offence within a 10 year period.

Whilst all of this is alarming and can have dire consequences, there can be avenues to lessen the impact of such an order.

If you have been charged with an offence of trafficking or manufacturing a commercial or large commercial quantity of a controlled drug with the offence date being on or after 10 August 2018, contact us to discuss what options might be available to you with respect to keeping your property.

About the Author

Casey Isaacs is a specialist in Criminal Assets Confiscation matters and appears in the Magistrates and District Court in Adelaide and each of the circuit courts (Mount Gambia, Berri, Port Pirie, Whyalla, Port Augusta, and Port Lincoln) more than any other lawyer in South Australia. He is a senior criminal lawyer and a Partner at Caldicott Lawyers. He regularly teaches other lawyers about the Criminal Assets Confiscation law and many lawyers refer asset confiscation matters to him. Don’t let his youthful looks deceive you Casey has been specialising in Criminal law and Criminal Assets Confiscation matters for 17 years.

Casey can be contacted on (08) 8120 3778 or after hours on 0412 816 575 or by email at [email protected].

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