False or Misleading Documents – s 137.2 Commonwealth Criminal Code 1995


Being accused of producing false or misleading documents can be a stressful experience for you and your loved ones – threatening your career, future plans and reputation.

However, with Sydney’s best criminal defence team on your side, you can fight the charges to escape a conviction or an onerous penalty, leaving you free to get on with your life as soon as possible.

Your Options in Court

Pleading Not Guilty

Before you can be found guilty of ‘false and misleading documents,’ the prosecution must prove that you:

  • Produced a document to another person that was false or misleading in a ‘material particular’
  • Knew that the document was false or misleading
  • Produced the document in compliance with a Commonwealth law

If you feel that the prosecution will be unable to prove these elements beyond a reasonable doubt, you may wish to enter a plea of ‘not guilty.’

Our experienced criminal defence team can then construct a strong defence case – based upon favourable witness testimony and evidence, along with any defences that may be raised in your case.

Examples of commonly raised defences include:

  • Where you were coerced or threatened into producing the false or misleading document (duress);
  • Where you made an honest and reasonable mistake as to whether the document was false or misleading in a material particular honest and reasonable mistake of fact.

If you’re considering pleading not guilty, get in touch with our expert defence team, who will be able to advise you on the best steps forward.

Pleading Guilty

On the other hand, you may not wish to fight the allegations against you.

In these situations, you may wish to simply enter a plea of ‘guilty’ to the charges.

This may be a beneficial move in certain situations as it means that you will be spared the time and expense of a defended hearing or trial to determine your guilt.

It will also indicate to the court that you have accepted responsibility for your actions, which will usually result in a better outcome in your case.

Before pleading guilty to any offence, it’s advisable that you speak to one of our experienced criminal defence lawyers.

We have a wealth of experience dealing with these types of matters and can advise whether there is any way to fight the charges and avoid a conviction.

If you’re considering pleading guilty, you should also be aware of the maximum penalties that may apply in these cases.

The maximum penalty for ‘false or misleading documents’ is 12 months imprisonment.

While imprisonment may seem like a heavy price to pay, it’s important to remember that this is the maximum penalty and will not always apply.

Our lawyers can assist you in avoiding a custodial sentence by putting forth compelling sentencing submissions in the most positive light.

However, ultimately the magistrate will determine the appropriate penalty after considering the facts and circumstances of your case and the seriousness of your actions.

The types of penalties that may be imposed include:

Remember, your best chance at securing a favourable penalty in your case is to engage an experienced and reputable criminal defence lawyer.

Why Sydney Criminal Lawyers®?

Being charged with a Commonwealth fraud offence can be a confronting experience – but having the right legal team on your side can make all the difference when it comes to getting a positive outcome in your case.

At Sydney Criminal Lawyers®, our dedicated defence team has years of experience representing clients in some of the most difficult Commonwealth fraud matters.

Our expert insight and specialised knowledge in this complex area of law allows us to obtain outstanding results, time and time again.

Unlike other law firms, we always endeavour to have matters resolved as early on as possible by identifying problems with the prosecution case and pushing to have the charges dropped on this basis.

Alternatively, if your matter ends up in court, our lawyers will fight hard to obtain the best possible outcome.

We will work tirelessly to prepare a strong defence case and call all relevant witnesses and evidence.

We will also identify any possible defences and work hard to raise these in a compelling manner to maximise your chances of being found ‘not guilty.’

We can also assist if you wish to plead ‘guilty’ by preparing sentencing submissions which emphasise the need for a lenient penalty.

Our dedicated lawyers can also assist you in obtaining documentation to support your submission.

For the best result in your case, call us now on (02) 9261 8881 and book your FREE first appointment to discuss your case with our Commonwealth fraud experts.

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