Making a False Document

Section 253 of the NSW Crimes Act makes it an offence to make a false document. The offence of making a false document relates to a person either creating a new forged document or forging details on an existing document with the intention to use it to obtain a financial advantage.

This is one of three new forgery offences that came into force on 22 February 2010. This new section is an effective reiteration of the repealed make false instrument offence (section 300(1)).

Maximum penalty

The maximum penalty for making a false document has increased to 10 years imprisonment.

What the prosecution must prove

In order for a person to be found guilty of this offence, it must be proved that:

  • The accused made a false document; and
  • The accused had the intention to use the false document to induce a person to accept it as genuine;

(a) to obtain property belonging to another; or
(b) to obtain any financial advantage or cause any financial disadvantage; or
(c) to influence the exercise of a public duty.

Relevant definitions for make false document

“Obtain” a financial advantage includes:

  • obtain a financial advantage for oneself or for another person, and
  • induce a third person to do something that results in oneself or another person obtaining a financial advantage, and
  • keep a financial advantage that one has,

whether the financial advantage is permanent or temporary.

“Cause” a financial disadvantage means:

  • cause a financial disadvantage to another person, or
  • induce a third person to do something that results in another person suffering a financial disadvantage, whether the financial disadvantage is permanent or temporary.

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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.


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