Criminal lawyers Melbourne & Ballarat

Whether you’re importing goods or bringing home gifts after a holiday, you may find yourself charged with a customs offence. These often relate to either importing something that isn’t allowed, affecting the amount of customs duty you need to pay or not having the right licences or approvals in place. Our criminal lawyers can give you advice on how to deal with the charges and represent you in court.

Our criminal lawyers will help you get a fair hearing and resolve your issue quickly so you can get on with your life.

Types of customs offences

Customs offences usually relate to trying to import something into Australia that is restricted or not allowed. This may include:

  • Firearms, which includes ammunition or other accessories. You’re not allowed to import firearms into Australia without valid registrations, licence or approvals;
  • Prohibited items if you don’t have the valid registrations, licence or approvals;
  • Drugs, which includes drugs that are illegal or prescription drugs if you don’t have the valid registrations, licence or approvals; and
  • Plants or animals if you don’t have the valid licence or approvals.

Customs offences may also involve interfering with something that is subject to customs control. These goods may be held in a duty-free zone and are not allowed to be moved, opened or replaced without permission. Businesses can also be charged if they don’t put in place the adequate processes or controls to make sure their employees don’t interfere with goods that are under customs control.

You may be charged with a customs offence by Customs and Border Protection Services, the Australian Border Force or the Australian Federal Police.

Penalties for customs offences

The penalty you receive when you’re found guilty of a customs offence depends on the type of offence you’re charged with, how serious it is and whether you’ve been charged before. You could:

  • Be asked to attend an education program;
  • Receive a warning;
  • Be charged a fine that may be small or over $250,000;
  • Have your licence, like a gun licence, suspended or cancelled; or
  • Receive jail time.

Why MNG Lawyers

Our lawyers have over 20 years experience helping people just like you. Being charged with a customs offence can be an emotional and stressful experience, so we take the time to listen to you, explain what your rights are in plain English and outline your options. We can represent you in court and help you get a fair hearing.

Frequently Asked Questions

Importation means bringing something into Australia from overseas. You can do this by bringing it in on a plane, as cargo on a ship, purchasing it online or having it mailed to you from another country. 

Get in touch today, always in confidence.

We’re here to help. It’s our top priority to ensure your needs and concerns are met every step of the way.
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