False or Misleading Information

By Doogue + George Criminal Defence Lawyers


The Maximum Penalty for “False or Misleading Information” in Melbourne – How Serious is It?

A maximum penalty of 12 months of imprisonment may be imposed by Courts for anyone proven guilty of committing the charge of “False or Misleading Information”. This is a serious offence that may carry a prison term on a finding of guilt. It is summarily heard before a Magistrate in the Magistrates’ Court.

 

The legislation on “False or Misleading Information”

Section 137.1 of the Criminal Code 1995 is the appropriate legislation for the charge of “False or Misleading Information”. It reads as follows:

                             

False or Misleading Information

 

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

 

(a)  the person gives information to another person; and

 

(b)  the person does so knowing that the information:

 

(i)  is false or misleading; or

(ii)  omits any matter or thing without which the information is misleading; and

 

(c)  any of the following subparagraphs applies:

 

(i)  the information is given to a Commonwealth entity;

(ii)  the information is given to a person who is exercising powers or performing functions under, or in connection with, a law of the Commonwealth;

(iii)  the information is given in compliance or purported compliance with a law of the Commonwealth.

 

Penalty:  Imprisonment for 12 months.

 

(1A)  Absolute liability applies to each of the subparagraph (1)(c)(i), (ii) and (iii) elements of the offence.

 

(2)  Subsection (1) does not apply as a result of subparagraph (1)(b)(i) if the information is not false or misleading in a material particular.

 

Note: A defendant bears an evidential burden in relation to the matter in subsection (2). See subsection 13.3(3).

 

(3)  Subsection (1) does not apply as a result of subparagraph (1)(b)(ii) if the information did not omit any matter or thing without which the information is misleading in a material particular.

 

Note: A defendant bears an evidential burden in relation to the matter in subsection (3). See subsection 13.3(3).

 

(4)  Subsection (1) does not apply as a result of subparagraph (1)(c)(i) if, before the information was given by a person to the Commonwealth entity, the Commonwealth entity did not take reasonable steps to inform the person of the existence of the offence against subsection (1).

 

Note: A defendant bears an evidential burden in relation to the matter in subsection (4). See subsection 13.3(3).

 

(5)  Subsection (1) does not apply as a result of subparagraph (1)(c)(ii) if, before the information was given by a person (the first person ) to the person mentioned in that subparagraph (the second person ), the second person did not take reasonable steps to inform the first person of the existence of the offence against subsection (1).

 

Note: A defendant bears an evidential burden in relation to the matter in subsection (5). See subsection 13.3(3).

 

(6)  For the purposes of subsections (4) and (5), it is sufficient if the following form of words is used:

 

"Giving false or misleading information is a serious offence".

 

Pleading guilty or not guilty to “False or Misleading Information” in a Melbourne Court

Deciding on whether you should plead guilty or not to the charge of “False or Misleading Information” is a very serious issue that can best be evaluated by a criminal defence solicitor. If you are found guilty, the consequences are likely going to be unfavourable on your end.

 

Elements of the charge of “False or Misleading Information” in a Melbourne Court

It must be shown to the Court that the defendant provided information to another person. The defendant must have been aware that such information was false or misleading, or the defendant may have omitted any matter or thing without which the information is misleading. This information must have been given by the defendant to a Commonwealth entity, or to a person who is exercising powers or performing functions under, or in connection with, a law of the Commonwealth. The information may have also been given in compliance or purported to the compliance with a law of the Commonwealth.

 

Defending the charge of “False or Misleading Information” in a Melbourne Court

Defences that are often run in relation to this offence are factual dispute, lack of intent, wrong identification. Whenever any of the elements are not proven, the defence of impossibility is certainly a consideration.

 

For more information on “False or Misleading Information”, 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 details 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 Oct. 19, 2012 and relates to the law that it stands at this time.

 



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