The maximum penalty for the offence of false pretences is five years imprisonment.
What court is likely to hear the matter
Where the value of the property charged exceeds $5000, this matter is a Table 1 offence which means that either the DPP or an accused can elect to have the matter dealt with in the District Court. If no election is made it will be dealt with in the Local Court.
Where the value of the property charged does not exceed $5000, this matter is a Table 2 offence which means that the DPP can elect to have the matter dealt with in the District Court. If no election is made it will be dealt with in the Local Court.
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 made either a false pretence of fact, or a wilfully false promise, or a partly false pretence and a partly false promise to some person.
- The accused knew it to be false.
- Through means of such pretence (false promise etc) the accused obtained property.
- With intent to defraud.
It will be necessary for the police in every offence to prove that the accused was the person who committed the offence.
Possible defences to this offence include but are not limited to:
Section 179 of the Crimes Act states:
Whosoever, by any false pretence or by any wilfully false promise, or partly by a false pretence and partly by a wilfully false promise, obtains from any person any property, with intent to defraud, shall be liable to imprisonment for five years.
WHERE TO NEXT?
If you suspect that you may be under investigation, or if you have been charged with an offence, it is vital to get competent legal advice as early as possible. Our lawyers are highly specialised in corporate crime and will be able to guide you through the process while dealing with the various authorities related to your matter.