It is not unusual for the Police, when charging someone for criminal offences relating to activities whereby the person has obtained money (for instance selling drugs) to both charge them with the obvious charges relating to the sale of the drugs AND with charges relating to having possession of the money which is the proceeds of the sale of the drugs. In a recent case handled by us, we were able to have the Court dismiss the charges relating to our client having possession or use of the proceeds of the activities (i.e., the money) on the basis that it would be an abuse of the legal process for the Police to be allowed to charge our client with committing a criminal offence of selling something illegally and also with having possession of the proceeds of the sale when the receipt by our client of the money was part of the original sale.
If receiving the money is part of the allegedly illegal sale activity, then our client having the money in his possession is part of the activity which is covered by the charge ofillegally selling the drugs. To then charge him with possession of the money means he is being charged twice in regard to the money. Additionally, the Courts have agreed that if the Police, in what is commonly called a “sting” operation, pretended to be a purchaser of the drugs and paid the money to the seller of the drugs then it would be a different sort of abuse of the legal process, namely what is commonly called “entrapment” for the Police to be allowed on the one hand to set up the original charge of illegally selling drugs by paying money to the seller and then on the other hand to add a second charge against the seller for having possession of the money, which the Police themselves deliberately gave to the seller.