False or Misleading Documents
In NSW, it is an offence to produce false or misleading documents in certain circumstances. This is a serious offence that carries a maximum penalty of a fine of 200 penalty units and/or imprisonment for two (2) years.
The Offence Of Producing False Or Misleading Documents
The offence of producing ‘false or misleading documents’ is set out in section 307C of the Crimes Act 1900 which states:
- A person is guilty of an offence if:
- The person produces a document to another person, and
- The person does so knowing that the document is false or misleading, and
- The document is produced in compliance or purported compliance with a law of the State.
What Actions Might Constitute Producing False Or Misleading Documents?
Offences under this section are often charged alongside offences under section 307A (making false or misleading applications) and section 307B (providing false or misleading information) of the Crimes Act 1900. There is overlap between the three offences.
Common examples of offences under this section are:-
- Producing a driver’s licence or identification document, on the request of a Police Officer, with a false name, address or date of birth.
- Producing information that is false or misleading with respect to your identity, personal details or qualifications in an application for licences related to certain workplaces, including: a builder’s licence, a taxi authority, or a working with children check.
What The Police Must Prove
To find you guilty of an offence of producing false or misleading documents, the Police must prove, beyond reasonable doubt, that you:-
- Produced a document to another person;
- You did so knowing that the document was false or misleading; and
- The document was produced in compliance or purported compliance with a law of the State.
It is a defence to an offence under this section if you can prove that the documents were not false or misleading in a material particular.
Subsection (3) states that it is not an offence under this section if the said document is accompanied by a written, signed statement by the person who produced the document which states:-
- The document is false and misleading in a material particular to the best of that person’s knowledge; and
- Setting out the material particular which that person believes is false or misleading.
The burden will be on you as the accused person to prove that you supplied an accompanying document that sufficiently covered the requirements under subsection (3).
Which Court Will Hear Your Matter?
This offence is a summary offence. That means that your matter will must be dealt with to finality in the Local Court.
In NSW, a court can impose any of the following penalties for this charge.
- Prison Sentence
- Home Detention
- Intensive Corrections Order (ICO)
- Suspended Sentence
- Community Service Order (CSO)
- Community Corrections Orders (CCO)
- Good Behaviour Bond
- Section 10A
- Conditional Release Order (CRO)
- Section 10
If you require legal advice or representation in any legal matter, please contact Armstrong Legal.