This website is for use by legal professionals (lawyers and law practices) only. If the information is used incorrectly, you could risk losing money or your legal rights. If you are a member of the public looking for free advice about your legal problems please visit, or contact our Legal Help advice line on 1300 792 387, Monday to Friday from 8 am to 6 pm. 

If you decide to use or rely on the information or make decisions based on the information in this website (which VLA does not recommend) VLA is not liable to you or any third party in any way for any loss, damage, costs or expenses you or they may suffer or incur as a result.

References for seizure and return of property

Information for staff about the seizure and return of property.

justice connect

This not-for-profit organisation (formerly called PILCH) is committed to improving access to justice and protecting human rights. Their site has information for lawyers and advocates to help people who are homeless in relation to their rights and obligations when they encounter the criminal justice system. Information includes dealing with the police when being searched, arrested or fingerprinted and making a complaint about police behaviour.

See the 'Police powers' in justice connect's website Homeless Law in Practice(opens in a new window).

The Law Handbook

Fitzroy Legal Service’s Law Handbook has information about seizure of property. See:

Lawyers Practice Manual

The Lawyers Practice Manual has information about seizure of property.

Note: This resource is only available for staff at Victoria Legal Aid.

See Arrest, search and seizure—Victorian powers of arrest [1.1.201](opens in a new window).

Criminal Law Victoria

This website has extensive information about power to seizure of items under various Acts (both Victorian and Commonwealth).

Topics include:

  • seizure of animals
  • seizure of betting instruments
  • obstructing an authorised offender
  • seizure under Commonwealth Crimes Act
  • seizure of firearms
  • seizure of poisons, controlled substances and volatile substances.

Note: This resource is only available for staff at Victoria Legal Aid.

See Bourke's Criminal Law Vic—Seizure(opens in a new window).

Judicial College of Victoria

Victorian Sentencing Manual

The college's Victorian Sentencing Manual has a chapter about forfeiture that deals with confiscation orders, automatic forfeiture, civil forfeiture, the Victorian confiscation scheme, and unexplained wealth orders.

See Judicial College of Victoria—Victorian Sentencing Manual—Forfeiture and pecuniary penalty orders - 7.7.1(opens in a new window).

Criminal law, investigation and procedure

This Westlaw subscription service has detailed commentary about the power to search in Victoria.

Note: This resource is only available for staff at Victoria Legal Aid.

See Search and seizure—Overview [SAS.20](opens in a new window).

Victoria Police Manual

The manual has Victoria Police policies and procedures, guidelines and resources that assist police employees to interpret and apply policies. Part of the manual has been made accessible to staff at Victoria Legal Aid.

See Victoria Police Manual(opens in a new window).

The manual has detailed information about police policy and procedure when conducting searches. These links are only available for VLA staff. Send an email if you need copies.