Penalties under the Misuse of Drugs Act
The courts have wide powers to impose penalties beyond imprisonment. This includes by way of forfeiture pursuant to the Crime (Confiscation of Profits) Act 1993 (Tas). This includes anything whatsoever used in the commission of the offences and orders for payment of monies equal to the proceeds derived from the commission of the offence or any other offence of a similar kind which the court takes into account in imposing penalty. This power applies to numerous offences.
Additionally, the Misuse of Drugs Act contains specific provisions in relation to property derived or received from major offences. It is an offence to conceal, transfer, convert or remove the property derived from an offence if its purpose is to conceal the commission of an offence under the Act (s16). It is also an offence to receive property, knowing it to be directly derived from a drug offence (s17). The court can impose penalties of up to 21 years in jail. The court also has the power to order the forfeiture of property used in the commission of any offence under the Act, including summary offences. Needless to say drugs seized by police during searches are also forfeited and disposed of.
The power of forfeiture applies even if the owner of the article is unaware of any offence having been committed in or with it (Forbes v Traders Finance Corporation (1971) 126 CLR 429). Provision is made for rights of appeal by any person having an interest in an article the subject of forfeiture.