Forgery

By Doogue + George Criminal Defence Lawyers


The Maximum Penalty for “Forgery” in Melbourne – How Serious is this Offence?

There is a maximum penalty of 10 years of imprisonment for anyone found guilty of committing the charge of “Forgery”. This is a very serious offence which normally carries a prison term on a finding of guilt. This charge is primarily heard before a Judge in the County Court.

 

The legislation on “Forgery”

Section 144.1 of the Criminal Code 1995 is the relevant law for “Forgery” and is as follows:

                        

Forgery

 

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

 

(a)  the person makes a false document with the intention that the person or another will use it:

 

(i)  to dishonestly induce a third person in the third person's capacity as a public official to accept it as genuine; and

(ii)  if it is so accepted, to dishonestly obtain a gain, dishonestly cause a loss, or dishonestly influence the exercise of a public duty or function; and

 

(b)  the capacity is a capacity as a Commonwealth public official.

 

Penalty:  Imprisonment for 10 years.

 

(2)  In a prosecution for an offence against subsection (1), it is not necessary to prove that the defendant knew that the capacity was a capacity as a Commonwealth public official.

 

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

 

(a)  the person makes a false document with the intention that the person or another will use it:

 

(i)  to dishonestly cause a computer, a machine or an electronic device to respond to the document as if the document were genuine; and

(ii)  if it is so responded to, to dishonestly obtain a gain, dishonestly cause a loss, or dishonestly influence the exercise of a public duty or function; and

 

(b)  the response is in connection with the operations of a Commonwealth entity.

 

Penalty:  Imprisonment for 10 years.

 

(4)  In a prosecution for an offence against subsection (3), it is not necessary to prove that the defendant knew that the response was in connection with the operations of a Commonwealth entity.

 

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

 

(a)  the person makes a false document with the intention that the person or another will use it:

 

(i)  to dishonestly induce a third person to accept it as genuine; and

(ii)  if it is so accepted, to dishonestly obtain a gain, dishonestly cause a loss, or dishonestly influence the exercise of a public duty or function; and

 

(b)  the false document is a false Commonwealth document.

 

Penalty:  Imprisonment for 10 years.

 

(6)  In a prosecution for an offence against subsection (5), it is not necessary to prove that the defendant knew that the false document was a false Commonwealth document.

 

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

 

(a)  the person makes a false document with the intention that the person or another will use it:

 

(i)  to dishonestly cause a computer, a machine or an electronic device to respond to the document as if the document were genuine; and

(ii)  if it is so responded to, to dishonestly obtain a gain, dishonestly cause a loss, or dishonestly influence the exercise of a public duty or function; and

 

(b)  the false document is a false Commonwealth document.

 

Penalty:  Imprisonment for 10 years.

 

(8)  In a prosecution for an offence against subsection (7), it is not necessary to prove that the defendant knew that the false document was a false Commonwealth document.

 

(9)  Section 15.4 (extended geographical jurisdiction--category D) applies to an offence against subsection (1), (3), (5) or (7).

 

Pleading guilty or not guilty to “Forgery” in a Melbourne Court

Deciding on whether to plead guilty to “Forgery” 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 “Forgery” in a Melbourne Court

There are various elements that could prove a charge of “Forgery”. Primarily, the defendant must have made a false document with the intention that a person or another will use it. The purpose for the use must have been either to dishonestly induce a third person, in the third person's capacity as a public official, to accept it as genuine; or if it is so accepted, to dishonestly obtain a gain, dishonestly cause a loss, or dishonestly influence the exercise of a public duty or function. This capacity must be a capacity as a public official.

                                                                                         

The false document may have also been made so that another person can dishonestly cause a computer, a machine, or an electronic device to respond to the document as if the document were genuine; or if it is so responded to, to dishonestly obtain a gain, dishonestly cause a loss, or dishonestly influence the exercise of a public duty or function. The response must have been in connection with the operations of a Commonwealth entity.

 

It is also an element to this charge if the defendant made a false document with the intention that a person or another will use it. The use must have been for dishonestly inducing a third person to accept it as genuine, or if it is so accepted, to dishonestly influence the exercise of a public duty or function. In this case, the false document must be a false Commonwealth document.

 

Defending the charge of “Forgery” in a Melbourne Court

Defences that are often run in relation to this charge are lack of intent and factual dispute. Honest and reasonable mistake of belief, as well as wrong identification, are also considered. The defence of impossibility may also be used if any of the elements of the offence is not established.

 

For more information on “Forgery”, 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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