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Offences Relating to False Documents (NSW)


In New South Wales there are several offences relating to the possession and use of false documents. These offences are governed by the Crimes Act 1900 and carry sentences of imprisonment.

Use false document

Under Section 254 of the Crimes Act, it is an offence to use a false document to obtain a financial advantage or cause a disadvantage. The offence of use false document came into force on 22 February 2010 and is an effective reiteration of the repealed offence of use false instrument Howev.er, the maximum penalty has been increased significantly to 10 years imprisonment.

What must be proven

For the court to find someone guilty of using a false document, the court must be satisfied that:

  • The accused used a false document;
  • The accused knew the document to be false;
  • The accused used the document with the intention of inducing a person to accept it as genuine either:

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

Possess a false document

Under Section 255 of the Crimes Act, it is an offence to possess a false document. This offence is committed by a person who possesses a forged document knowing it is false to obtain a financial advantage or disadvantage.

The offence of possess false document came into force on 22 February 2010 and is an effective reiteration of the repealed possess false instrument offence (section 302). However, the maximum penalty has been increased significantly to 10 years imprisonment.

What must be proven

To find a person guilty of this offence, the court must be satisfied that:

  • the accused possessed a false document;
  • the accused knew the document to be false;
  • the accused had the intention to induce some person to accept it as genuine either:

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

Possess equipment to make a false document

Under Section 256(3), it is an offence to possess equipment to make a false document. Thi provision came into force on 22 February 2010. This offence is committed by a person who is in possession of equipment, material or another thing which is capable of being used to make a false document, with the intent that they will use the equipment to commit the offence of forgery.

Maximum penalty

The maximum penalty for the offence of Possession of equipment to make a false document is three years.

What must be proven

The court must be satisfied that:

  • The accused possessed any equipment material or other thing capable of being used to make a false document ;
  • With the intention that the person or another person will use the equipment, material or another thing;
  • To commit the offence of forgery.

Definitions

“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.

If you require legal advice or representation in any legal matter, please contact Armstrong Legal. 

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.

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