Use false instrument


The maximum penalty for the offence of using a false instrument is ten years imprisonment.

What court is likely to hear the matter

Where the value of the property 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 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 used a false instrument.
  • The accused knew it was false.
  • It was used with the intention that another person, would:

(a) to accept the instrument as genuine, and
(b) because of that acceptance, to do or not do some act to that other person’s, or to another person’s, prejudice.

It will be necessary for the Police in every offence to prove that the accused was the person who committed the offence.

Possible defences

Possible defences to this offence include but are not limited to

  • Duress
  • Necessity
  • Intoxication

The law

Section 300 of the Crimes Act states:

A person who uses an instrument which is, and which the person knows to be, false, with the intention of inducing another person:

  • to accept the instrument as genuine, and
  • because of that acceptance, to do or not do some act to that other person/s, or to another person/s, prejudice,

is liable to imprisonment for 10 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.

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