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.

In NSW, a court can impose any of the following penalties for this charge.

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.

Possible Defences To Producing False Or Misleading Documents:

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.

Types of penalties:

Jail: This is the most serious penalty and involves full time detention in a correctional facility. Read more.

Home Detention: As a result of amended legislation this penalty was repealed on 24 September 2018 as a standalone order but may be imposed as a condition of an Intensive Corrections Order (ICO). Home detention is an alternative to full-time imprisonment. In effect the gaol sentence is served at your address rather than in a gaol. If you receive a sentence of home detention you will be strictly supervised and subject to electronic monitoring. Read more.

Intensive Corrections Order (ICO): This option has replaced periodic detention. The court can order you to comply with a number of conditions, such as attending counselling or treatment, not consuming alcohol, complying with a curfew and performing community service. Read more.

Suspended Sentence: As a result of amended legislation this penalty was repealed on 24 September 2018. This is a jail sentence that is suspended upon you entering into a good behaviour bond. Provided the terms of the good behaviour bond are obeyed the jail sentence will not come into effect. A suspended sentence is only available for sentences of imprisonment of up to two years. Read more.

Community Service Order (CSO): As a result of amended legislation this penalty was repealed on 24 September 2018 and replaced with a Community Corrections Order (CCO). This involves either unpaid work in the community at a place specified by probation and parole or attendance at a centre to undertake a course, such as anger management. In order to be eligible for a CSO you have to be assessed by an officer of the probation service as suitable to undertake the order. Read more.

Good Behaviour Bond: As a result of amended legislation this penalty was repealed on 24 September 2018 and replaced with a Community Corrections Order (CCO). This is an order of the court that requires you to be of good behaviour for a specified period of time. The court will impose conditions that you will have to obey during the term of the good behaviour bond. The maximum duration of a good behaviour bond is five years. Read more.

Community Corrections Orders (CCO): A CCO involves the standard conditions that an offender must not commit any offence and that the offender must appear before the court if called on to do so at any time during the term of the Community Corrections Orders (CCO). Additional conditions may be imposed at the discretion of the court, both at the time of sentence and subsequently upon application by a community corrections officer, juvenile justice officer or the offender. Read more.

Fines: When deciding the amount of a fine the magistrate or judge should consider your financial situation and your ability to pay any fine they set. Read more.

Section 10A: A section 10A is a conviction, with no other penalty attached to it. Read more.

Conditional Release Order (CRO): A CRO involves the standard conditions that an offender must not commit any offence and that the offender must appear before the court if called on to do so at any time during the term of the CRO. Read more.

Section 10 avoiding a criminal record. Normally, when you plead guilty to a criminal offence, the court imposes a penalty and records a conviction. If the court records a conviction, you will have a criminal record. However, if we can convince the court not to convict you, there will be no penalty of any type and no criminal record. In all criminal cases, the court has the discretion not to convict you, but to give you a Section 10 dismissal instead. Read more.

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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