Proceeds of Crime and Asset Forfeiture

Najma Jamaldin, along with lawyers in her law chambers, offer legal services in criminal and regulatory defences and appeals.

Can the police or the Crown take my funds or property?

The Crown can apply to take away your funds and property in relation to wrongdoing. This includes money, houses and cars. Asset forfeiture may occur under two regimes: the criminal regime or the civil regime.

What are the main features of criminal asset forfeiture?

In a criminal investigation, the police will often seize property or assets, usually at the time of the arrest. Police are interested in property suspected to be proceeds of crime or offence-related property. Proceeds of crime include any property or benefit that arose from the commission of an indictable offence. The offence-related property includes property used or intended to be used to commit an indictable offence.

After a criminal conviction, the Crown may seek forfeiture of assets that the police had seized.

The accused may bring an application to have the seized items released to pay for legal fees. After the case concludes, the accused or someone else with interest in the property may bring an application for the return of property.

What are the main features of civil asset forfeiture?

Compared to the criminal forfeiture regime, the civil asset forfeiture regime gives the government broader powers to acquire funds and assets. In civil asset forfeiture, the government will take property even when the individuals faces no charges.

In civil asset forfeiture, the provincial government can take property if the government merely suspects that the property has been used to commit an illegal act or that the property was acquired by committing an unlawful act.