Stealing plants from gardens is an offence under section 520 of the Crimes Act, but did you know that you can also be charged with an offence for stealing plants which are not growing in gardens?
Examples include stealing plants from national parks or nature strips.
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 cultivated root or plant that was not in a garden.
These matters are dealt with in the Local Court before a magistrate..
The penalty for this offence is a fine of $220.
While this may seem like a trivial offence, it has the potential to result in a criminal record which may affect your work and travel plans – so it’s always a good idea to discuss your options with an experienced criminal lawyer.
Section 521 of the Crimes Act 1900 deals with the offence of ‘Stealing Plants not in Gardens’ and reads as follows:
521 Stealing plants etc not growing in gardens
Whosoever steals, or destroys, or damages with intent to steal, any cultivated root, or plant, used for the food of man or beast, or for medicine, or for distilling, or dyeing, or for any manufacture, and growing in any inclosed land, not being a garden, orchard, pleasure-ground, or nursery-ground, shall, on conviction by the Local Court be liable to pay a fine of 2 penalty units.
Being accused of stealing plants which are not growing in gardens may seem trivial.
However, the maximum penalty for this offence is a fine of $220 – which also carries a conviction on your criminal record.
Having a criminal record can have a detrimental impact on your ability to travel and secure employment, so it’s important that you seek legal advice from Sydney’s best criminal defence team.
As a team that specialises in criminal law, we have the knowledge and experience to secure the best outcome in your ‘stealing plants’ case.
In every case, we will fight to have the charges dropped at an early stage by identifying problems with the prosecution case.
However, where the prosecution refuses to drop the charges, our lawyers can advise you of the best ways in which to fight the charges in court – including the possibility of any defences that may be raised.
Where you wish to plead guilty to the charges, our lawyers will fight hard to obtain a section 10 dismissal or conditional release order – which means that while you will be found guilty of the offence, you will avoid a conviction on your criminal record, as well as a fine.
Call us today on (02) 9261 8881 and book a FREE first conference with our lawyers to discuss the best path forward in your ‘stealing plants’ case.