Section 520 Crimes Act | Stealing Plants in Gardens


It might seem like a relatively trivial offence, but did you know that you can receive a criminal conviction for stealing plants from gardens?

The offence is contained in section 520 of the Crimes Act 1900, which imposes a maximum penalty of 6 months imprisonment and/or a fine of $550.

To be found guilty of this offence, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you stole, destroyed or damaged with the intention of stealing a plant, root, fruit or vegetable produce growing in either a:

  • Garden;
  • Orchard;
  • Pleasure-ground;
  • Nursery ground;
  • Hothouse;
  • Greenhouse or
  • Conservatory

Your matter will be dealt with in the Local Court before a magistrate.

If found guilty of this offence, it may be recorded on your criminal record – however, you can maximise your chances of avoiding a conviction with the help of our expert criminal defence team.

The Legislation

520 Stealing plants etc in gardens

Whosoever steals, or destroys, or damages with intent to steal, any plant, root, fruit, or vegetable produce, growing in any garden, orchard, pleasure-ground, nursery-ground, hothouse, greenhouse, or conservatory, shall, on conviction by the Local Court, be liable to imprisonment for six months, or to pay a fine of 5 penalty units, or both.

Why Sydney Criminal Lawyers?

Stealing plants may seem like a fairly trivial offence, however it has the potential to result in a conviction on your criminal record, which may affect your work and travel plans.

However, you can maximise your chances of avoiding a conviction by enlisting the help of Sydney’s top criminal defence team.

At Sydney Criminal Lawyers, our team specialises in criminal law – meaning that we have the knowledge and experience to secure the best possible outcome every time.

We fight hard in every case to have charges dropped at an early stage by identifying problems in the prosecution case and writing to the prosecution highlighting these issues.

In many instances, this results in our clients avoiding the time and expense of a defended hearing.

However, should you wish to fight the matter in court, our lawyers will raise all possible defences to increase your chances of being found ‘not guilty.’

In other cases, you may wish to enter a plea of guilty early on.

In these situations, our lawyers will work to maximise your chances of avoiding a conviction on your criminal record by fighting to obtain a section 10.

A section 10 is where you are found guilty of the offence but no conviction is recorded on your criminal record.

Our lawyers have a proven track record of obtaining section 10s in these types of matters and can advise you of your chances of avoiding a conviction.

Call us today on (02) 9261 8881 and book your FREE first conference to discuss your matter with our criminal law experts today.