What the law says
Sections 134.1 of the Commonwealth Criminal Code states:
(1) A person is guilty of an offence if:
(a) the person, by a deception, dishonestly obtains property belonging to another with the intention of permanently depriving the other of the property; and
(b) the property belongs to a Commonwealth entity.
(2) Absolute liability applies to the paragraph (1)(b) element of the offence of Obtaining Property by Deception.
Intention of permanently depriving a person of property
Section 134.1 states:
(6) For the purpose of this section, if
(a) a person obtains property belonging to another without meaning the other permanently to lose the thing itself; and
(b) the person’s intention is to treat the thing as the person’s own to dispose of regardless of the other’s rights;
The person has the intention of permanently depriving the other of it.
What the police must prove
In order for the Police to prove their case at Court, they must prove each of the following matters beyond a reasonable doubt.
- The accused, by deception, dishonestly obtained property belonging to another with the intention of permanently depriving the other of the property; and
- The property belonged to the Commonwealth.
- It will be necessary for the Police in every offence to prove that the accused was the person who committed the offence. Click here to learn more about identification evidence.
The Maximum penalty for the offence of Obtaining Property by Deception is 10 years imprisonment.
A person may be convicted of an offence against this section involving all or any part of a general deficiency in money even though the deficiency is made up of any number of particular sums of money that were obtained over a period of time.
Which court will hear the matter
This matter is Commonwealth Offence which means it is dealt with in the District Court.
Possible defences to this offence include but are not limited to
- The accused did not by deception, dishonestly obtain the property.
- The accused did not intend to permanently deprive the other of the property.
- The property did not belong to the Commonwealth.
- Identification i.e. it was not the accused