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Dishonestly Using a Previously Used, Defaced or Obliterated Stamp

Dishonestly using a previously used, defaced or obliterated stamp is an offence under section 471.5 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth), which carries a maximum penalty of 12 months in prison.

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

  1. You used a postal stamp
  2. You did so for postal services
  3. The stamp had previously been used for postal services, or had been defaced or obliterated, and
  4. Your actions were dishonest.

You are presumed to have used the stamp for postal services if it is proved that you caused an article to which the stamp was affixed or printed to be carried by post, unless you are able to establish, ‘on the balance on probabilities’, to the contrary.

Dishonesty is assessed according to the standards of ordinary people

Duress and necessity are defences to the charge.

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