Forgery etc. of Documents and Identification Marks

by Doogue O'Brien George Criminal Defence Lawyers

Maximum Penalty for "Forgery etc. of Documents and Identification Marks" in Melbourne

There is a maximum penalty of up to 6 months imprisonment or a fine of as much as 60 penalty units for anyone found guilty of committing "Forgery etc. of Documents and Identification Marks". This applies to the worst example of this offence cited in subsection 1A of the legislation for this charge. Other examples of this charge may lead to a maximum penalty of imprisonment for 2 months or a fine of up to 10 penalty units. "Forgery etc. of Documents and Identification Marks" is a serious offence that may carry a prison term on a finding of guilt. Generally, jurisdiction for cases involving this charge is given to the Magistrates’ Court.

 

The legislation on "Forgery etc. of Documents and Identification Marks"

The relevant legislative provision for "Forgery etc. of Documents and Identification Marks" is section 72 of the Road Safety Act 1986 and is as follows:

                         

Forgery etc. of Documents and Identification Marks

 

(1) A person is guilty of an offence if that person-

 

   (a)  forges; or

   (b)  fraudulently alters or uses; or

   (c)  fraudulently lends or allows to be used by any other person-

 

any notice, registration label, certificate, licence, permit or other document or any identifying number or general identification mark that is authorised by or required by or under this Act.

 

Penalty: 10 penalty units or imprisonment for 2 months.

 

(1A) A person is guilty of an offence if that person-

 

   (a)  forges; or

   (b)  fraudulently alters or uses; or

   (c)  fraudulently lends or allows to be used by any other person-

 

any vehicle identifier, engine identification number, identification plate, manufacturer's build plate or any other plate, label or mark that uniquely identifies a vehicle and sets it apart from similar vehicles.

 

Penalty: 60 penalty units or imprisonment for 6 months.

 

(2) A person is guilty of an offence if that person makes, uses, knowingly has custody or possession of, sells or utters any paper or other material purporting to be a notice, registration label, certificate, licence, permit or other document or any identifying number or general identification mark that is authorised or required by or under this Act.

 

Penalty: 10 penalty units or imprisonment for 2 months.

 

(3) A person is not guilty of an offence under this section by reason only that the person makes or uses an identifying number in such circumstances as are prescribed.

 

Pleading guilty or not guilty to "Forgery etc. of Documents and Identification Marks" in a Melbourne Court

Deciding whether to plead guilty or not guilty to "Forgery etc. of Documents and Identification Marks" has important implications for you and should be made after proper discussions with a criminal defence solicitor. If you are found guilty, there can be severe consequences.

 

Elements of the charge of "Forgery etc. of Documents and Identification Marks" in a Melbourne Court

The prosecution must show that the defendant was in possession of unique vehicle identifiers such as an identification plate, engine identification number, etc. The defendant may also have been in possession of documents that identify the registered owner or driver of the motor vehicle, or of documents that identify the status of the vehicle as per the records of VicRoads (such as a registration label, licence permit, etc.). In any of the two cases mentioned, the defendant must have used, possessed, or had custody of the said documents which the defendant obtained through fraudulent acts (ex. misrepresentation, false statements, etc.), or have knowingly taken possession of the said documents through the fraudulent acts of another person. It is also an element to this charge that the defendant knowingly used the document obtained through fraudulent acts, or that the defendant allowed another person to use the said document.

 

Defending a charge of "Forgery etc. of Documents and Identification Marks" in a Melbourne Court

Defences that are often run in relation to this charge are factual dispute, innocent possession, and innocent use. The two latter defences are based on a lack of the required intent.

 

For more information on "Forgery etc. of Documents and Identification Marks", you may visit the Doogue O’Brien George Melbourne Criminal Lawyers site (here).

 

Doogue O’Brien George 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)

 

This article was written on Sep. 18, 2013 and relates to the law that stands at this time.



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