Section 154G Crimes Act | Car or Boat Rebirthing


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In recent years, the government has cracked down on organised crime by introducing tougher laws in relation to car and boat rebirthing.

Car or boat rebirthing refers broadly to activities including stealing, receiving or supplying stolen vehicles, attempting to conceal the fact that a vehicle or part has been stolen (e.g. by affixing a different vehicle identification number to the vehicle), registering a stolen vehicle, affixing stolen parts to a motor vehicle and so on.

Section 154G of the Crimes Act now says that if you facilitate car or boat rebirthing on an “organised basis,” you could face a maximum penalty of 14 years imprisonment.

This offence also carries a standard non-parole period of 4 years.

This means that for a rebirthing offence in the mid-range of seriousness, you are likely to spend 4 years in gaol.

However, it is not a mandatory penalty and the court can impose a longer or shorter penalty if there are good reasons for doing so.

To be found guilty of this offence, the prosecution must also prove that you knew that you were rebirthing a car or boat, and that you knew that your actions were being carried out on an “organised basis.”

You will commit rebirthing on an “organised basis” if you do so on more than one occasion, with at least one other person, and you receive a profit or gain.

You can be charged under this section even if you were not directly involved in the commission of the offence – for example, if you participate in any step of the rebirthing process, finance the rebirthing, or provide premises where the rebirthing takes place.

While the penalty for this offence is obviously very high, it is important to remember that it is the maximum only, and will only apply in the most serious cases – for example, where you have been involved in the rebirthing of numerous vehicles and you have obtained significant financial gain.

However, no matter how serious the facts and circumstances of your case are, our highly experienced lawyers will give you the best possible defence against the charges to secure the best possible outcome.

The Legislation

Section 154G of the Crimes Act contains the offence of “facilitating organised car or boat rebirthing activities” and reads as follows:

154G Facilitating organised car or boat rebirthing activities

(1) A person who facilitates a car or boat rebirthing activity that is carried out on an organised basis knowing that:

(a) it is a car or boat rebirthing activity, and

(b) it is carried out on an organised basis,

is guilty of an offence.

Maximum penalty: imprisonment for 14 years.

(2) For the purposes of this section, a

“car or boat rebirthing activity” is an activity involving one or more of the following:

(a) the stealing of a motor vehicle or vessel or the receiving of a stolen motor vehicle or stolen vessel,

(b) the interference with a motor vehicle or vessel, or a part of a motor vehicle or vessel, or a unique identifier, for the purpose of concealing the fact that a motor vehicle or vessel, or any part of a motor vehicle or vessel, is stolen,

(c) the affixing of stolen parts to a motor vehicle or vessel,

(d) the interference with a unique identifier, being a unique identifier that wholly or partly identifies a motor vehicle or vessel for registration under a law of any jurisdiction, for the purpose of disguising or misrepresenting the identity of a motor vehicle or vessel,

(e) the registration, in this or any other jurisdiction, of a stolen motor vehicle or stolen vessel, or of a motor vehicle or vessel that has had stolen parts affixed to it,

(f) the supply of, or offering to supply, a stolen motor vehicle or stolen vessel.

(3) A person

“facilitates” a car or boat rebirthing activity if the person:

(a) takes, or participates in, any step, or causes any step to be taken, that is part of the activity, or

(b) provides or arranges finance for any step that is part of the activity, or

(c) provides the premises in which any step that is part of the activity is taken, or allows any step that is part of the activity to be taken in premises of which the person is the owner, lessee or occupier or of which the person has the care, control or management.

(4) A car or boat rebirthing activity is carried out on an

“organised basis” if:

(a) it is planned, organised, structured or otherwise carried out in such a manner as to indicate that the activity is carried out on more than one occasion and involves more than one participant, and

(b) it is carried out for profit or gain.

(5) In proceedings for an offence against this section, for the purpose of proving that an activity was carried out on an organised basis, or that the accused knew it was carried out on an organised basis, it is not necessary to prove:

(a) that the accused knew any of the participants in the activity or that any of the participants knew each other, or

(b) that the activity was planned, organised, structured or otherwise carried out under the direction of any particular person or persons or in any hierarchical manner, or

(c) that the same participants were involved on each occasion on which the activity was carried out.

Why Sydney Criminal Lawyers?

Car or boat rebirthing charges are taken seriously by the police and the courts and have the potential to result in onerous penalties, including gaol.

However, you can give yourself the best possible defence against the charges by enlisting the help of our expert criminal defence team.

Unlike general law firms, we specialise exclusively in criminal law. Our lawyers’ in-depth knowledge and insight of this complex area of the law enables us to consistently achieve outstanding results in even the most complex criminal cases, such as car or boat rebirthing.

Our lawyers will carefully examine all the evidence to find problems or weaknesses in the prosecution case, and, where possible, we will write to the prosecution explaining your side of the story and highlighting any issues with the evidence.

Should your matter proceed to court, you will be represented by our senior lawyers, who have extensive experience fighting and winning some of the most complex criminal cases.

They will work alongside Sydney’s leading barristers to raise all favourable evidence and examine all relevant witnesses in order to maximise your chances of being found not guilty.

Our lawyers can also assist if you are wishing to plead guilty and you are seeking to achieve the most lenient outcome.

In these cases, we will prepare and present compelling sentencing submissions to persuade the magistrate or judge to impose the most lenient penalty possible.

Call us today on (02) 9261 8881 and arrange a free first conference.