Corrupting Benefits Given To, or Received By, a Commonwealth Public Official

by Doogue & O'Brien Criminal Defence Lawyers

Corrupting Benefits Given To, or Received By, a Commonwealth Public Official – What’s the maximum penalty and which Melbourne Court hears the charge?

There is a maximum penalty of 5-year imprisonment for anyone found guilty of Corrupting Benefits Given To, or Received By, a Commonwealth Public Official. This is a very serious offence which carries a prison term on a finding of guilt. This charge is an indictable offence which would generally be heard before a Judge in the County Court.

 

The legislation on Corrupting Benefits Given To, or Received By, a Commonwealth Public Official

Section 142.1 of the Commonwealth Criminal Code 1995 is the relevant law for Corrupting Benefits Given To, or Received By, a Commonwealth Public Official and is as follows:

                               

Corrupting Benefits Given To, or Received By, a Commonwealth Public Official

 

Giving a corrupting benefit

 

             (1)  A person is guilty of an offence if:

 

(a)    the person dishonestly:

 

                              (i)  provides a benefit to another person; or

                             (ii)  causes a benefit to be provided to another person; or

                            (iii)  offers to provide, or promises to provide, a benefit to another person; or

                            (iv)  causes an offer of the provision of a benefit, or a promise of the provision of a benefit, to be made to another person; and

 

(b)   the receipt, or expectation of the receipt, of the benefit would tend to influence a public official (who may be the other person) in the exercise of the official's duties as a public official; and

                  

                     (c)  the public official is a Commonwealth public official; and

 

                     (d)  the duties are duties as a Commonwealth public official.

Penalty:  Imprisonment for 5 years.

 

             (2)  In a prosecution for an offence against subsection (1), it is not necessary to prove that the defendant knew:

 

                     (a)  that the official was a Commonwealth public official; or

 

                     (b)  that the duties were duties as a Commonwealth public official.

 

Receiving a corrupting benefit

 

             (3)  A Commonwealth public official is guilty of an offence if:

 

(a)    the official dishonestly:

 

                              (i)  asks for a benefit for himself, herself or another person; or

                             (ii)  receives or obtains a benefit for himself, herself or another person; or

                            (iii)  agrees to receive or obtain a benefit for himself, herself or another person; and

 

                     (b)  the receipt, or expectation of the receipt, of the benefit would tend to influence a Commonwealth public official (who may be the first-mentioned official) in the exercise of the official's duties as a Commonwealth public official.

 

Penalty:  Imprisonment for 5 years.

 

Benefit in the nature of a reward

 

             (4)  For the purposes of subsections (1) and (3), it is immaterial whether the benefit is in the nature of a reward.

 

Pleading guilty or not guilty to Corrupting Benefits Given To, or Received By, a Commonwealth Public Official in a Melbourne Court

Deciding on whether to plead guilty to Corrupting Benefits Given To, or Received By, a Commonwealth Public Official or not has important implications for you and should be made after proper discussions with a criminal defence solicitor. If you are found guilty, there could be severe consequences.

 

Elements of the charge of Corrupting Benefits Given To, or Received By, a Commonwealth Public Official in a Melbourne Court

There are various elements that the Prosecution must show in order to prove a defendant’s guilt for a charge of corrupting benefits given to, or received by, a Commonwealth public official.

                                                        

The defendant must have dishonestly provided a benefit, caused a benefit to be provided, or offered or promised a benefit to be provided to a Commonwealth Public Official. The defendant may have also caused an offer of the provision of a benefit to be made to another person. The receipt, or expectation of receipt, of the benefit would also tend to influence a public official in the exercise of the official’s duties. Thus, the public official has to be a Commonwealth public official and the duties involved are those of a Commonwealth public official.

 

If the charge is receiving a corrupting benefit, the defendant must have asked for a benefit for the defendant or for that of another person. The defendant may have also received the benefit or agreed to receive it. The receipt, or expectation of receipt, of the benefit would also tend to influence the public official in the exercise of the official’s duties as a Commonwealth public official.

 

Defending the charge of corrupting benefits given to, or received by, a Commonwealth Public Official in a Melbourne Court

Defending the charge of corrupting benefits given to, received by, a Commonwealth public official often involves factual and identification disputes. The details of a particular case for this charge may have incorrect facts that could greatly impact the Prosecution’s efforts in proving the elements of this offence.

 

For more information on Corrupting Benefits Given To, or Received By, a Commonwealth Public Official, you may visit the Australian Defence Lawyers Association site (click here) and also the Doogue & O’Brien Melbourne Criminal Lawyers site (here).

 

Doogue & O’Brien Melbourne can provide you more detail about this

Our Head Office is at 5/221 Queen Street, Melbourne

Phone (03) 9670 5111 (24 hrs if you are in a Police Station)

www.criminal-lawyers.com.au/melbourne-criminal-lawyers

 

This article was written on Aug. 14, 2012 and relates to the law that it stands at this time.

 



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