Anastasia Qvist is an outstanding lawyer. My criminal law situation (family violence order) was difficult, complex and Ana's diligence saved me as I was going through the most difficult period of my life. Ana is down to earth, commonsense and she even kept our costs to a minimum. She is a skilled litigator and knows the ins and outs of the ACT Magistrates Court. She dealt skillfully with the DPP and is an excellent negotiator. You will get a fair representation and she genuinely cares about her clients. She has my complete recommendation. The lady goes to bat for her clients.
I would strongly recommend Anastasia to anyone who is seeking legal representation. As a first-time offender who was charged with a Level 2 Drink Driving offence, she walked me through every step of the matter and was very upfront and clear on all aspects of my case. She was always accessible when I needed advice. Her approach and advice were excellent. Under her representation, I received the best possible outcome and managed to avoid a criminal conviction. She was a pleasure to deal with throughout the whole matter.
Anastasia Qvist was very professional and helpful in every step of my matter. I got a very good outcome and I can’t thank you enough for your hard work and the Armstrong Legal team in Canberra. I would highly recommend her!!!
Throughout Angela has been the consummate professional. She maintained a calm, yet strong demeanour remained informative and completely open in her communication and took complete ownership of the situation. We felt confident we finally had an advocate to steer us out of the nightmare we were in, and she did so with great respect and sincerity. I cannot speak more highly of Angela. She has literally rescued our family from what looked very much like a hopeless future.
Words can’t describe how grateful I am to Trudie Cameron being my solicitor and to Andrew Tiedt presenting my case in the court. They both have been very supportive and amazingly professional and effective. I’ve got an absolutely fantastic outcome I couldn’t even dream about.
Soon after meeting Andrew I knew he was the solicitor I wanted to handle my matter. He immediately sprang into action which brought me stability and hope during a tumultuous time in my life. Andrew was never afraid to give me straight answers to my tough questions which is a true mark of integrity. He is clearly at ease in the court environment and I believe his calm and measured demeanour went a long way to helping me secure the best result from my day in court. I would certainly recommend you approach Andrew if you need assistance.
"Andrew Tiedt was very professional and considerate to personal circumstances and gave sound advice that resulted in the best outcome possible. Highly recommended."
There are various charges that police can lay in relation to theft. There is a simple charge of theft, as well as one of minor theft and there are also charges of going equipped for theft and going equipped with an offensive weapon for theft.
These pages cover the various charges, possible penalties, what the police have to prove, possible defences and which court will hear your matter.
A court can impose any of the following penalties:
- Imprisonment (Jail – Full Time)
- Intensive Correction Order (previously Periodic Detention)
- Suspended Sentence
- Community Service Order (CSO)
- Good Behaviour Order
- Section 17 (ACT): Non-conviction Order
The Offence of Theft:
The offence of theft is found at Section 308 of the Criminal Code 2002 (ACT).
The maximum penalty for theft is a fine of 1000 penalty units and/or 10 years’ imprisonment.
What the Police Must Prove:
There are several elements that make up the offence of theft. All of them need to be proved for a finding of guilt to be made. The elements are that a person must:
- The property of another; with the
- Intention of permanently depriving that other person of that property.
“Dishonesty’’, “Appropriation of Property”, “Person to Whom Property Belongs” and “Intention of Permanently Depriving’’ are all defined at length in Part 3.2 of the Criminal Code.
A person’s appropriation of someone else’s property can be dishonest even if that person or someone else was willing to pay for it.
“Appropriation” is defined as the assumption of the rights of an owner without the consent of the person to whom the property belongs. The Code specifically says that that definition applies even if a person came by property innocently and only assumed the rights of an owner at some later point.
A person has the intention to permanently deprive someone else of property even if he or she appropriates property without the intention of the other person permanently losing it. The test is if he or she intends to treat the property as his or hers and dispose of it regardless of the original owner’s rights.
Possible Defences to A Charge Of Theft:
Intention to permanently deprive: It can be a defence to theft if the intention to permanently deprive the owner of property wasn’t formed at the time the property was taken. There must be some element of dishonesty to the taking of the property: R v Weatherstone. It is not enough for property to be taken, and then the intent to permanently deprive being formed afterwards.
Claim of right: It may also be a defence if you believe that you have a claim of right to the property. You would need to show that you genuinely and honestly believed that you had a legal entitlement to the property taken. It must also be a belief that you were entitled to the entire property taken and not merely part of it.
If you have been charged with an offence under this provision and believe that you may have a defence, you should obtain competent legal advice early on in your matter.
Which Court Will Hear Your Matter?
Theft charges can be dealt with in either the Supreme Court or the Magistrates Court.
The defendant can “consent to the jurisdiction” of the Magistrates Court because the maximum term of 10 years’ imprisonment for theft is below the statutory cut-off of 14 years, at which point matters have to be dealt with in the Supreme Court if they relate to money or property (which, of course, theft does).
However, the Crimes Act 1900 (ACT) stipulates at Section 375 that if the value of the money or property (other than a motor vehicle) allegedly stolen is greater than $30,000, the matter has to go to the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court can impose any penalty up to the maximum.
The Magistrates Court cannot impose a prison sentence of longer than two years for an individual offence.
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 criminal law and will be able to guide you through the process while dealing with the various authorities related to your matter.
WHY CHOOSE ARMSTRONG LEGAL?
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