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Section 145.1 Criminal Code Act 1995
Using Forged Document

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Using a forged document to dishonestly induce a Commonwealth public official is an offence under Section 145.1(1) of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth) which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.

To establish the offence, the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt that:

  1. You used document,
  2. The document was a false document,
  3. You knew the document was a false document,
  4. You used the document with the intention dishonestly inducing another person to accept the document as genuine in the other person’s capacity as a public official
  5. You intended thereby to dishonestly obtain a gain, cause a loss or influence the exercise of a public duty or function, and,
  6. The other person was a Commonwealth public official.

A ‘document’ includes:

  1. Any paper or material on which there is writing,
  2. Any paper or material on which there are marks, figures, symbols or perforations that are capable of being given a meaning by persons qualified to interpret them or of being responded to by a computer, a machine or an electronic device, or
  3. Any article or material from which information is capable of being reproduced with or without the aid of any other article or device,

A document is considered to be ‘false’ if any part of it purports:

  1. To have been made in the form in which it is made by a person who did not make it in that form,
  2. To have been made in the form in which it is made on the authority of a person who did not authorise its making in that form,
  3. To have been made in the terms in which it is made by a person who did not make it in those terms,
  4. To have been made in the terms in which it is made on the authority of a person who did not authorise its making in those terms,
  5. To have been altered in any respect by a person who did not alter it in that respect,
  1. To have been altered in any respect on the authority of a person who did not authorise its alteration in that respect,
  2. To have been made or altered by a person who did not exist,
  3. To have been made or altered on the authority of a person who did not exist, or
  1. To by any part of it to have been made or altered on a date, time or place, or in circumstance in which this did not occur.

‘Dishonesty’ is determined according to the standards of ordinary people and known by you to be dishonest.

It is not necessary for the prosecution to prove you knew that the capacity was that of a Commonwealth public official.

Duress is a legal defence to the charge.


Dishonestly causing a computer to respond to a Commonwealth function is an offence under Section 145.1(3) of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth) which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. 

To establish the offence, the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt that:

  1. You used a document, 
  2. The document was a false document, 
  3. You knew the document was a false document, 
  4. You did so intending to dishonestly cause a computer,  machine or electronic device to respond to the document as if it were genuine, and to thereby:

(a) Obtain a gain for yourself or another person, or 

(b) Cause a loss, or 

(c) Influence the exercise of a public duty or function, and  

5. The response was in connection with the operation of a Commonwealth entity 

A ‘document’ includes: 

  1. Any paper or material on which there is writing 
  2. Any paper or material on which there are marks, figures, symbols or perforations that are capable of being given a meaning by persons qualified to interpret them or of being responded to by a computer, a machine or an electronic device, or 
  3. Any article or material from which information is capable of being reproduced with or without the aid of any other article or device. 

A document is considered to be ‘false’ if any part of it purports: 

  1. To have been made in the form in which it is made by a person who did not make it in that form, 
  2. To have been made in the form in which it is made on the authority of a person who did not authorise its making in that form, 
  3. To have been made in the terms in which it is made by a person who did not make it in those terms, 
  4. To have been made in the terms in which it is made on the authority of a person who did not authorise its making in those terms, 
  5. To have been altered in any respect by a person who did not alter it in that respect 
  6. To have been altered in any respect on the authority of a person who did not authorise its alteration in that respect, 
  7. To have been made or altered by a person who did not exist, 
  8. To have been made or altered on the authority of a person who did not exist, or 
  9. To by any part of it to have been made or altered on a date, time or place, or in circumstance in which this did not occur. 

‘Dishonesty’ is determined according to the standards of ordinary people and known by you to be dishonest. 

It is not necessary for the prosecution to prove you knew that you knew the response was in connection with the operations of a Commonwealth entity. 

Duress is a legal defence to the charge. 


Dishonestly inducing another person to use a forged Commonwealth document is an offence under Section 145.1(5) of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth) which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.

To establish the offence, the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt that:

  1. You used a document,
  2. You did so intending that another person use it:

To dishonestly induce a third party to accept it as genuine and to thereby:

  1. Obtain a gain for yourself or another person, or
  2. Cause a loss, or
  3. Influence the exercise of a public duty or function, and
  1. The document was a false Commonwealth document.

A ‘document’ includes:

  1. Any paper or material on which there is writing,
  2. Any paper or material on which there are marks, figures, symbols or perforations that are capable of being given a meaning by persons qualified to interpret them or of being responded to by a computer, a machine or an electronic device, or
  3. Any article or material from which information is capable of being reproduced with or without the aid of any other article or device

A document is a ‘false Commonwealth document’ if any part of it purports:

  1. To have been made in the form in which it is made by a Commonwealth entity or Commonwealth public official who did not make it in that form,
  2. To have been made in the form in which it is made on the authority of a Commonwealth entity or Commonwealth public official who did not authorise its making in that form
  3. To have been made in the terms in which it is made by a Commonwealth entity or Commonwealth public official who did not make it in those terms,
  4. To have been made in the terms in which it is made on the authority of a Commonwealth entity or Commonwealth public official who did not authorise its making in those terms,
  5. To have been altered in any respect by a Commonwealth entity or Commonwealth public official who did not alter it in that respect,
  6. To have been altered in any respect on the authority of a Commonwealth entity or Commonwealth public official who did not authorise its alteration in that respect,
  7. To have been made or altered by a Commonwealth entity or Commonwealth public official who did not exist,
  8. To have been made or altered on the authority of a Commonwealth entity or Commonwealth public official who did not exist, or
  9. To by any part of it to have been made or altered by a Commonwealth entity or Commonwealth public official on a date, time or place, or in circumstance on or in which this did not occur.

A ‘Commonwealth entity’ is any agency, department, office or other organisation or body created under Commonwealth legislation.

‘Dishonesty’ is determined according to the standards of ordinary people and known by you to be dishonest.

It is not necessary for the prosecution to prove you knew that the false document was a false Commonwealth document.

Duress is a legal defence to the charge.

If you require Expert Legal Advice from an Experienced Criminal Defence Lawyer for your Using Forged Document matter, call Sydney Criminal Lawyers® today on (02) 9261 8881.

The Legislation

145.1  Using forged document

(1)  A person is guilty of an offence if:

(a)  the person knows that a document is a false document and uses it with the intention of:

(i)  dishonestly inducing another person in the other person’s capacity as a public official to accept it as genuine; and

(ii)  if it is so accepted, dishonestly obtaining a gain, dishonestly causing a loss, or dishonestly influencing the exercise of a public duty or function; and

(b)  the capacity is a capacity as a Commonwealth public official.

Penalty:  Imprisonment for 10 years.

(2)  In a prosecution for an offence against subsection (1), it is not necessary to prove that the defendant knew that the capacity was a capacity as a Commonwealth public official.

(3)  A person is guilty of an offence if:

(a)  the person knows that a document is a false document and uses it with the intention of:

(i)  dishonestly causing a computer, a machine or an electronic device to respond to the document as if the document were genuine; and

(ii)  if it is so responded to, dishonestly obtaining a gain, dishonestly causing a loss, or dishonestly influencing the exercise of a public duty or function; and

(b)  the response is in connection with the operations of a Commonwealth entity.

Penalty:  Imprisonment for 10 years.

(4)  In a prosecution for an offence against subsection (3), it is not necessary to prove that the defendant knew that the response was in connection with the operations of a Commonwealth entity.

(5)  A person is guilty of an offence if:

(a)  the person knows that a document is a false document and uses it with the intention of:

(i)  dishonestly inducing another person to accept it as genuine; and

(ii)  if it is so accepted, dishonestly obtaining a gain, dishonestly causing a loss, or dishonestly influencing the exercise of a public duty or function; and

(b)  the false document is a false Commonwealth document.

Penalty:  Imprisonment for 10 years.

(6)  In a prosecution for an offence against subsection (5), it is not necessary to prove that the defendant knew that the false document was a false Commonwealth document.

(7)  A person is guilty of an offence if:

(a)  the person knows that a document is a false document and uses it with the intention of:

(i)  dishonestly causing a computer, a machine or an electronic device to respond to the document as if the document were genuine; and

(ii)  if it is so responded to, dishonestly obtaining a gain, dishonestly causing a loss, or dishonestly influencing the exercise of a public duty or function; and

(b)  the false document is a false Commonwealth document.

Penalty:  Imprisonment for 10 years.

(8)  In a prosecution for an offence against subsection (7), it is not necessary to prove that the defendant knew that the false document was a false Commonwealth document.

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Here are 12 reasons to choose our multi-award winning legal team:

  1. Proven Track Record of Exceptional Results

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    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 info@sydneycriminallawyers.com.au.

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