The offence of “obtaining a financial advantage” refers to situations where you obtain a financial advantage for yourself or another person from a Commonwealth body or entity, and you know that you or that other person are not entitled to receive the financial advantage.
A “financial advantage” refers broadly to some kind of benefit or profit that you receive as a result of your actions – for example, obtaining cash or property or some kind of intangible benefit that improves your financial position.
While being accused of committing a fraud offence can be an upsetting experience for you and your loved ones, the fraud law specialists at Sydney Criminal Lawyers® have considerable experience fighting and winning these types of cases and can advise you of the best options in your case.
Your Options in Court
Pleading Not Guilty
Before you can be found guilty of “obtaining a financial advantage,” the prosecution must prove certain factors beyond a reasonable doubt:
- That you engaged in conduct;
- That you obtained a financial advantage from a Commonwealth entity/body for yourself or another person as a result of that conduct;
- That you knew or believed that you were not entitled to that financial advantage;
If you do not believe that the prosecution will be able to prove each and every one of these factors beyond a reasonable doubt, you may wish to consider pleading “not guilty” to the offence.
Our experienced criminal defence lawyers can then represent you in court and fight the charges to maximise your chances of avoiding a conviction.
Our senior lawyers are highly experienced in fighting and winning complex Commonwealth fraud cases and will strive to ensure that you get the best possible result in your case.
We will work hard to obtain all relevant evidence that supports your case, and will present this evidence in a compelling manner in court in order to bolster your case.
Our advocates are also highly skilled cross-examiners and will effectively interrogate the prosecution witnesses in order to dismantle their case.
We will also raise any defences to the charges, which, if accepted, will result in you being found “not guilty.”
Possible defences include:
- Where you were coerced or threatened into obtaining the financial advantage (duress);
- Where you made an honest and reasonable mistake – e.g. obtaining a benefit that you mistakenly believed that you were entitled to (honest and reasonable mistake of fact).
We pride ourselves on our ability to consistently obtain the best results in Commonwealth fraud matters.
So, for the best defence in your “obtaining a financial advantage” case, get our experts on your side today.
In some cases, you may simply wish to plead “guilty” to the offences and proceed straight to sentencing to have the appropriate penalty determined.
This may be a beneficial step to take in certain situations as it will show the court that you have accepted responsibility for your actions.
Accordingly, the court may impose a more lenient penalty – also known as a “discount” on your sentence.
However, before pleading guilty, you should speak to one of our expert defence lawyers, who will be able to advise whether there is any way to fight the charges to escape a conviction.
It’s also important to be aware of the maximum penalty that may be imposed in these cases – for the offence of “obtaining a financial advantage,” the maximum penalty is 12 months imprisonment.
However, it should be noted that this is the absolute maximum that the court can impose, and it will only apply in the most serious cases.
The court will determine the appropriate penalty after considering all the facts and circumstances of your case.
Types of penalties that the court can impose include:
- Section 10 Dismissal
- Conditional Release Order
- Community Correction Order
- Intensive Correction Order
Having a good criminal lawyer on your side who can tell your side of the story in the most positive light can make all the difference when it comes to securing a favourable outcome in your case.
At Sydney Criminal Lawyers®, we have a proven track record of securing outstanding outcomes in even the most difficult Commonwealth fraud cases thanks to the hard work and dedication of our expert defence team.
In cases where you are a person of good character or you have a minimal criminal record, our lawyers can push to secure a good behaviour bond, a section 10 dismissal or conditional release order – where you are found guilty of the offence but no conviction is recorded on your criminal history.
Frequently Asked Questions
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,
- Liverpool, directly opposite Liverpool Local Court, and
- Parramatta, near the justice precinct.
We offer free parking at our Sydney CBD and Liverpool locations, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.