The offence of Possession is actually the possession of property knowing that all or part of the property was obtained directly or indirectly by the commission of an offence. Actual stolen property would be included in this definition, but so would the proceeds from the sale of stolen property, proceeds from the illegal sale of narcotics, or funds or property obtained through a fraudulent act.
In order for the Crown to prove possession, three elements of the offence must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt:
(1) that the property was obtained through the commission of an offence, and that the accused person had both
(2) knowledge and
(3) control of the property in question.
It is not necessary for the Crown to prove that the accused person has physical possession of the item in question as long as the above elements can be proven. It is possible for more than one person to legally have possession of an object at the same time.
Where the property in question has a value in excess of $5000, the maximum penalty is 10 years custody. Where the value of the property is $5000 or less, the maximum penalty is 2 years in custody if the Crown proceeds by way of indictment or 6 months in custody if the Crown proceeds by way of summary conviction
Where the accused person is charged with trafficking in any property obtained by the commission of an offence, the custodial maximum sentences increase to 5 years custody where the value in $5000 or less, and 14 years custody where the value is in excess of $5000. Traffic is defined as to sell, give, transfer, export from Canada, import into Canada, send, deliver or deal with in any other way or to offer to do any of those acts. It is important to note that traffic does not require that the accused person had any gain, financially or otherwise, by the transfer of the property.