Obtaining a financial advantage – s 135.2 Commonwealth Criminal Code Act 1995


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.

Pleading Guilty

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:

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.

Why Sydney Criminal Lawyers®?

Being charged with a fraud offence can be tough, particularly where it has the potential to negatively impact your future life.

In these situations, choosing the right lawyer can be a difficult process.

At Sydney Criminal Lawyers®, our unparalleled ability to achieve outstanding results in Commonwealth fraud cases, combined with our expert knowledge and understanding of fraud law sets us a cut above other law firms who lack our specialist knowledge and experience.

Our lawyers can assist you in understanding the options available to you if you have been charged with “obtaining a financial advantage.”

In many cases, we are able to have charges dropped at an early stage by meticulously examining all the evidence to find problems with the prosecution case and raising these issues with the prosecution.

Alternatively, where your matter ends up in court, our dedicated advocates will fight hard to protect your rights and interests.

We frequently obtain outstanding results by working hard to obtain all favourable evidence, and effectively cross-examining prosecution witnesses in order to cast doubt on the prosecution case.

Where you simply wish to plead guilty, our lawyers will invest the time and resources to prepare compelling sentencing submissions which focus on positive factors in your case and emphasise the importance of a lenient penalty.

We can also assist you in obtaining material to support your sentencing submission, such as character and medical references.

Don’t settle for second best – call us now on (02) 9261 8881 and book your FREE first conference to get Sydney’s most experienced criminal defence team on your side today.

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