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My legal matter concerning an application for a Domestic Violence Order was managed by Mr Thomas Allen. I am grateful for the outcome he obtained. Without Mr Allen and his ongoing support, I would be certain of a different result. It has been an extremely stressful period. Mr Allen’s astute ability to liaise on my behalf and his expertise was invaluable and for which I am grateful as I am now able to move forward. Thanking you
I would like to take this opportunity to thank Armstrong Legal and specifically Mr Thomas Allen for representing me in my recent case. At the outset, I would like to thank Mr Allen for the very professional delivery of his legal service. From the first time that I met Mr Allen, I was very impressed with his demeanour and delivery as he made me feel at ease knowing the severity of my case. Mr Allen not only gave me the possible positive outcomes of the case but also the realisation of the worst-case scenario as far as sentencing goes. … I will certainly be recommending Armstrong Legal to any of my friends or family needing representation in criminal matters. Thank you so very much.
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Thank you Armstrong Legal, the lawyers that have helped over the past 3 years but more importantly, thank you to Thomas Allen for the major part you and Mr Buckland played. Cannot thank you enough. Cheers.
Hi all. I would like to thank Ms Lisa Riley for all her help with my legal issues this past month. It was the most harrowing experience of my life and thanks to her expertise, professionalism and knowledge of the law, I came out almost unscathed. I have no hesitation in recommending Lisa Riley and Armstrong Legal if you need help. The service is amazing and the cost was very minimal for the great outcome. Thank you Lisa for helping me in the most difficult time.
I just want to thank you from the bottom of my heart. My whole life I was thrown away, you made me feel like I did mean something. I could not have asked for a better lawyer. Your compassion and love for your job is inspiring. Your upfront and honesty were muchly appreciated, you are a beautiful person. Thank you for not giving up on me and thank you for all the work you put in. I wish you all the best for the future and I will be recommending you to everyone I know. You're amazing!!!!
I just wanted to thank you for representing me on Monday, I was overjoyed & relieved with the outcome. I don’t think it could have gone any better. All the best, I hope you got to celebrate this one instead after work, you forever made a difference in my life.
I know I thanked you before we parted company but please allow me to reiterate in writing my sincere deepest thanks for defending me in court today. … Armstrong Legal certainly has a great Lawyer you are a credit to the company and I'm quite sure you will secure a very successful future! … My Kindest Regards and Thanks
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."
Stealing By Finding (Qld)
The age-old adage “finders keepers” is not completely in line with whta is legally expected of those who locate property not belonging to them. It’s widely accepted that the good Samaritan thing to do when a person finds something that someone else is likely to have lost is to take reasonable steps to locate the rightful owner. However, this is more than just an altruistic act. A person may in fact find themselves charged with the offence of stealing if steps are not taken before deciding to assume ownership of an item. This article deals with the offence of stealing by finding in Queensland.
Stealing under the Criminal Code
Section 391(1) of the Criminal Code 1899 defines stealing as follows.
“A person who fraudulently takes anything capable of being stolen, or fraudulently converts to the person’s own use or to the use of any other person anything capable of being stolen, is said to steal that thing”
Subsection 2 of the provision states that a person is deemed to taken or converted a thing fraudulently if it is done with any of the following intents –
“(a) an intent to permanently deprive the owner of the thing of it;
(b) an intent to permanently deprive any person who has any special property in the thing of such property;
(c) an intent to use the thing as a pledge or security;
(d) an intent to part with it on a condition as to its return which the person taking or converting it may be unable to perform;
(e) an intent to deal with it in such a manner that it can not be returned in the condition which it was at the time of the taking or conversion;
(f) in the case of money – an intent to us it at the will of the person who takes or converts it, although the person may intent to afterwards repay the amount to the owner”
Under these provisions, in order to secure a conviction for a stealing offence, police must prove –
- That the person took or converted something;
- That the thing is capable of being stolen; and
- That the person took it fraudulently
The answer to the question at hand lies in the words “took or converted”. The way in which the legislation defines this offence makes it so it is not a requirement for a person to take a thing. Simply converting an item will satisfy that element. Conversion refers to dealing with property as if it was your own – for example, keeping or destroying an item that was only loaned to you.
Exception to the offence of stealing by finding
Further, section 391(5) of the Act outlines a specific exception to the offence of stealing by finding, by stipulating that a person is not guilty of stealing if the person who has come into possession of an item does not know who the rightful owner is and believes on reasonable grounds that the owner cannot be discovered. Meeting the second limb of this test is demonstrated by the attempts (or lack of) to locate the owner.
Accordingly, the question of whether finding can be considered stealing is one to be answered on a case-by-case basis, however the primary consideration for the courts is whether the person who found the thing held a genuine belief that the owner could not be discovered, and how such a belief was reached.
Can the lawful owner be found?
Two examples to consider are the following.
- A person is walking in a public park. There are no other people around. The person finds a small sum of cash scattered on the ground. The person decides to pick up the cash and keep it.
- A person is walking in a shopping centre. The person locates a mobile phone under a chair in the food court. The person decides to take the phone to a pawn shop and sell it.
Whilst there may still be an expectation that they hand over the money to police, the person in the first example may have a far more reasonable belief that the owner is unable to be located than the person in the second example. This is due to the lack of owner-identifying markings on cash. Mobile phones, on the other hand, generally contain information which can identify an owner.
The question cannot be easily answered and is usually a matter for consideration and deliberation by lawyers, prosecutors, and the courts. As such, it is normally the safest practice to make police aware of any property you have located in order to protect yourself from being charged with a criminal offence.
The following warning is from the Queensland Government website.
“If you find property that someone has obviously lost, take it to your local police station.
If you find goods or money, you can’t keep them. In fact, police can charge you for keeping goods or money you’ve found that you don’t hand in.
If you tell the police that you’ve found something of value, they may later return the goods to you if they can’t find the owner.”
If you require legal advice or representation in any legal matter please contact Armstrong Legal.
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