Obtaining Property by Deception is an offence under Section 134.1 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.
To establish the offence, the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt that:
- You dishonestly obtained property belonging to another
- You did so by a deception
- You intended to permanently deprive the other of the property, and
- The property belonged to a Commonwealth entity
An act is considered ‘dishonest’ even if you intended to pay for it.
You are considered to have ‘obtained property’ if:
- You received ownership, possession or control of it for yourself or another person,
- You enabled ownership, possession or control to be retained by yourself,
- You induced a third person to pass ownership, possession or control to another person, or
- You induced a third person to enable another to retain ownership, possession or control of it
‘Deception’ means an intentional or reckless deception, whether by words or conduct, and whether as to fact or law, and includes:
- A deception as to your intentions or that of another person, and
- Conduct that causes a computer, machine or electronic device to make a response you are not authorised to cause
You ‘intended to permanently deprive’ another even if you did not mean for the other to permanently lose the property as long as you intended to treat the property as your own to dispose of regardless of the other’s rights.
Defences to the charge include:
- Necessity, and
- Having a ‘claim of right’ over the property which means you genuinely believed you were legally entitled to it
If you require Expert Legal Advice from an Experienced Criminal Defence Lawyer for your Obtaining Property by Deception matter, call Sydney Criminal Lawyers® today on
(02) 9261 8881.
134.1 Obtaining property by deception
(1) A person is guilty of an offence if:
(a) the person, by a deception, dishonestly obtains property belonging to another with the intention of permanently depriving the other of the property; and
(b) the property belongs to a Commonwealth entity.
Penalty: Imprisonment for 10 years.
(2) Absolute liability applies to the paragraph (1)(b) element of the offence.
(3) For the purposes of this section (and for the purposes of the application of section 132.1 to this section), a person (the first person) is taken to have obtained property if, and only if:
(a) the first person obtains ownership, possession or control of it for himself or herself or for another person; or
(b) the first person enables ownership, possession or control of it to be retained by himself or herself; or
(c) the first person induces a third person to pass ownership, possession or control of it to another person; or
(d) the first person induces a third person to enable another person to retain ownership, possession or control of it; or
(e) subsection (9) or (10) applies.
(4) The definition of obtaining in section 130.1 does not apply for the purposes of this section (or for the purposes of the application of section 132.1 to this section).
(5) For the purposes of this section, a person’s obtaining of property belonging to another may be dishonest even if the person or another person is willing to pay for the property.
Intention of permanently depriving a person of property
(6) For the purposes of this section, if:
(a) a person obtains property belonging to another without meaning the other permanently to lose the thing itself; and
(b) the person’s intention is to treat the thing as the person’s own to dispose of regardless of the other’s rights;
the person has the intention of permanently depriving the other of it.
(7) For the purposes of subsection (6), a borrowing or lending of a thing amounts to treating the thing as the borrower’s or lender’s own to dispose of regardless of another’s rights if, and only if, the borrowing or lending is for a period and in circumstances making it equivalent to an outright taking or disposal.
(8) For the purposes of subsection (6), if:
(a) a person has possession or control (lawfully or not) of property belonging to another; and
(b) the person parts with the property under a condition as to its return that the person may not be able to perform; and
(c) the parting is done for purposes of the person’s own and without the other’s authority;
the parting is taken to amount to treating the property as the person’s own to dispose of regardless of the other’s rights.
(9) For the purposes of this section (and for the purposes of the application of section 132.1 to this section), if a person (the first person) causes an amount to be transferred from an account held by another person (the second person) to an account held by the first person:
(a) the amount is taken to have been property that belonged to the second person; and
(b) the first person is taken to have obtained the property for himself or herself with the intention of permanently depriving the second person of the property.
(10) For the purposes of this section (and for the purposes of the application of section 132.1 to this section), if a person (the first person) causes an amount to be transferred from an account held by another person (the second person) to an account held by a third person:
(a) the amount is taken to have been property that belonged to the second person; and
(b) the first person is taken to have obtained the property for the third person with the intention of permanently depriving the second person of the property.
(11) For the purposes of this section (and for the purposes of the application of section 132.1 to this section), if:
(a) a credit is made to an account (the credited account); and
(b) a debit is made to another account (the debited account); and
(i) the credit results from the debit; or
(ii) the debit results from the credit;
the amount of the credit is taken to be transferred from the debited account to the credited account.
(12) For the purposes of this section (and for the purposes of the application of section 132.1 to this section), a person is taken to cause an amount to be transferred from an account if the person induces another person to transfer the amount from the account (whether or not the other person is the holder of the account).
(13) A person may be convicted of an offence against this section involving all or any part of a general deficiency in money even though the deficiency is made up of any number of particular sums of money that were obtained over a period of time.
(14) A person may be convicted of an offence against this section involving all or any part of a general deficiency in property other than money even though the deficiency is made up of any number of particular items of property that were obtained over a period of time.
(15) If, in a prosecution for an offence of theft, the trier of fact is not satisfied that the defendant is guilty of the offence, but is satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty of an offence against this section, the trier of fact may find the defendant not guilty of the offence of theft but guilty of the offence against this section, so long as the defendant has been accorded procedural fairness in relation to that finding of guilt.
(16) If, in a prosecution for an offence against this section, the trier of fact is not satisfied that the defendant is guilty of the offence, but is satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty of an offence of theft, the trier of fact may find the defendant not guilty of the offence against this section but guilty of the offence of theft, so long as the defendant has been accorded procedural fairness in relation to that finding of guilt.
Why Choose Sydney Criminal Lawyers®?
Going to court can be nerve-racking, but having a strong and compassionate legal team behind you can make the experience significantly easier to deal with.
Here are 12 reasons to choose our multi-award winning legal team:
Proven Track Record of Exceptional Results
Sydney Criminal Lawyers® consistently achieves outcomes which are in the highest percentile of the Judicial Commission’s sentencing statistics for criminal cases.
Our legal team devises effective case-strategies and fights hard to have cases dropped entirely or charges downgraded – saving clients the time, expense and stress of a defended hearing or jury trial.
Where cases nevertheless proceed, our lawyers have an outstanding track record of winning defended Local Court hearings, and complex jury trials in the District and Supreme Courts.
We also consistently win appeals in the District and Supreme Courts (including the NSWCCA) after clients have received unsatisfactory results with other law firms in the lower courts.We are one of the few firms to achieve successful criminal law appeals in the High Court of Australia.
Where our clients wish to plead guilty, we frequently achieve ‘dismissals’ and ‘non convictions’ in cases where other lawyers have advised there is no chance of doing so.
Highest Level of Client Satisfaction
We have the best and most comprehensive client review record of any law firm in Australia.
Regular communication, accessibility and quality service are our team’s highest priorities.
We are committed to thoroughly explaining all steps involved in the criminal law process, providing regular updates throughout the proceedings, and making ourselves accessible and responsive.
We are passionate about providing an exceptional level of service to our clients, and we fight hard to achieve optimal results in the shortest period of time.
Australia’s Most Awarded Criminal Law Firm
We have received more awards and accolades than any other criminal law firm in Australia. Our team has been awarded “Criminal Defence Firm of the Year in Australia” in a number of prestigious and competitive awards programs for several years running.
The awards recognise our exceptional track record of results, our outstanding client service, the high level of satisfaction we achieve, the affordability of our services and our overall excellence.
We want our clients to know exactly how much their cases will cost from the very start. That’s why we were the first criminal law firm in Australia to publish ‘fixed fees’, back in 2004.
We offer fixed fees for most types of criminal cases and services.Our fixed fees apply to a range of Local Court cases such as drink driving, drug possession, fraud, common assault and AVOs, and also specific services such as prison visits, bail applications, appeals and defended hearings.
Unlike many other law firms, our fixed fees are published on our website – which ensures transparency and certainty.
Free First Appointment
For those who are going to court, we offer a free first conference of up to an hour with one of our Senior Criminal Defence Lawyers.
We also offer a free first conference to those who have received an unsatisfactory result after being represented in court by another law firm, or after representing themselves, and wish to appeal.
Specialist Lawyer Guarantee
We guarantee that only lawyers with substantial criminal defence experience will work on your case and appear for you in court.
This ensures our clients receive the highest quality representation from an experienced, specialist criminal lawyer.
All NSW Courts
From Bombala to Broken Hill, our lawyers appear in courts throughout New South Wales – and across Australia for Commonwealth cases.
And we offer fixed fees for most criminal and traffic law cases throughout the state.
Our entire firm is exclusively dedicated to criminal law – which makes us true specialists.
All of our lawyers have years of experience representing clients in criminal cases, and our principal has been certified by the Law Society of NSW as an Accredited Criminal Law Specialist since 2005.
An ‘Accredited Specialist’ is a lawyer who has practised for at least 5 years in a particular field of law (such as criminal law), has passed a rigorous assessment process conducted by the Law Society of NSW, and has been selected by the Specialist Accreditation Committee of the Law Society as an expert in the field.
Accredited Specialists are required to undertake more training each year than other lawyers and must be successful in having their accreditation renewed every year. Specialist Accreditation is the mark of a true specialist.
Our firm’s specialist experience ensures you receive the best possible result, whatever your criminal law case may be.
Results-Focused Law Firm
Our team is passionate about achieving results, and unlike many other law firms, our lawyers do not have monthly financial ‘budgets’ to meet.
The absence of budgets means our lawyers are entirely focused on achieving optimal results in the shortest space of time; whether by getting charges dropped or downgraded at an early stage or having cases ‘thrown out of court’.
Not having budgets also means our lawyers are not under pressure to engage in unscrupulous practices such as unnecessarily adjourning cases or ‘overcharging’ clients – which, sadly, is a common complaint against many other lawyers and law firms.
No budgets encourages regular consultation between lawyers within the firm – promoting an ‘open door’, team environment where lawyers bounce ideas off one another, formulate case strategy together and benefit from each other’s specialised experience, methods, techniques and insights.
The result is a firm which delivers optimal outcomes in the shortest time periods, at the least expense and stress to our clients.
Team of Lawyers Behind You
Our clients benefit from the pool of knowledge that only an extensive team of experienced criminal defence lawyers can provide.
Our lawyers regularly consult one another to stay ‘ahead of the pack’ in the ever-changing field of criminal law – constantly devising, refining and implementing specialised techniques which ensure our clients achieve the best possible outcomes.
A team approach is particularly important when it comes to serious criminal cases such as murder, commercial drug cases, serious and sexual assaults, large-scale fraud, robbery and other ‘indictable’ cases.
In such matters, clients reap the benefits of several lawyers devising and executing case strategies which maximise the chances of having cases dropped or downgraded at an early stage, or ‘thrown out of court’ – often saving clients a great deal of cost, time and anxiety.
Familiar with Magistrates and Judges
Each of our lawyers appears in court on a daily basis, and has done so for years. We have therefore been able to develop an understanding of, and rapport with, magistrates and judges in Sydney and indeed across the state.
Our team’s extensive experience before the courts ensures your case is tailored to the specific nuances of individual judicial officers, maximising the likelihood of a favourable result.
We have offices in locations across the Sydney Metropolitan Area and beyond, including:
- the Sydney CBD, on Castlereagh Street, directly opposite Downing Centre Court,
- Parramatta, opposite the Justice Precinct carpark,
- Liverpool, and
We offer free parking at our Sydney CBD offices, and all of our offices are close to train stations and bus terminals.
For those who are unable to attend our offices, we offer conferences by telephone, Skye and FaceTime anywhere around the world.
If you are going to court and wish to arrange a free first consultation, call our 24 hour hotline on (02) 9261 8881 or send us an email at email@example.com.
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