Can the Australian Crime Commission or NSW Crime Commission prosecute me?

NSW Crime CommissionNo. The Commissions investigate crime and then brief the Department of Public Prosecutions to prosecute.

Do I need a criminal defence lawyer if the Australian or NSW Crime Commission wants to question me?

Absolutely yes. The Commissions have significant powers. If you don’t go when summonsed then they can have you arrested. If you don’t answer questions to their satisfaction they can lock you up. In short, you need to take them very seriously.

While the Commissions do have broad powers they are still subject to certain rules of fairness. A good criminal defence lawyer will know these rules and will object to any questions or methods that are unfair.

A good criminal defence lawyer will also remind you that you must tell the Commission in advance whether any of your answers might incriminate you. If you do not do this then any evidence you give may be used against you.

What does a criminal defence lawyer do?

At O’Brien’s our number one priority is to look after you in every possible way. This is how we do it:

  • We start by treating you with respect.
  • We’ll then examine the reason the Commission wants to speak with you.
  • We then let you know whether we think it will be worth your while to have us represent you and why.
  • We then explain a strategy for the interview with the Commission.
  • Our lawyers then attend with you and reduce as much stress on you as possible.

Our aim is to get you through this process smoothly and ensure that your rights to fairness are protected and that you do not incriminate yourself.

What is the Australian Crime Commission?

Commonly known as the ACC, the Commission is a statutory authority set up to combat serious and organised crimes. Its primary focus at present is drug trafficking, weapons possession and money laundering.

What about the NSW Crime Commission?

It is very similar to the ACC but its focus is solely on serious crime in NSW.

What do the Crime Commissions do?

The primary work of the Commissions is to identify and then investigate high level organised crime figures and their associates. They also seek to identify persons who have gained substantial financial benefits from criminal activities, confiscate the proceeds of crime and the assets of those persons.

What should I do if I am prosecuted as a result of an ACC or NSWCC investigation?

Call us (02) 9261 4281 We can assist in several ways.

  • We will examine the investigation thoroughly. These investigations often involve complex procedures (e.g. phone taps; house listening devices (bugs); video surveillance; documentation; DNA etc) that have to abide by equally complex legal rules.
  • We’ll examine the evidence. It may be that the evidence as a whole demonstrates your innocence or reveals a defence. It may be that the evidence is insufficient to prove any offence against you.
  • We can negotiate before court. There may be several reasons why a lesser charge is more appropriate in your case. If it exists then we will find that reason.
  • We can engage the best experts to both examine technical evidence and argue your case at court.
  • Our lawyers can ensure that if you are ultimately found guilty in court that you receive the lowest penalty possible.

We have extensive experience and much success in dealing with prosecutions that have resulted from ACC or NSWCC investigations.

Can I stop the ACC or NSWCC from seizing my assets?

Yes. To be able to confiscate your assets the Commissions need to prove that that within the 6 years before the application you engaged in serious crime or acquired property from the serious crime of another person. A good criminal defence lawyer will be able to examine the evidence and make an argument that the Commission is unable to prove this.

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Peter O'Brien

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O’Brien Criminal & Civil Solicitors
p: 02 9261 4281
a: Level 4, 219-223 Castlereagh St,
Sydney NSW 2000

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