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General Dishonesty Causing a Loss

General Dishonesty Causing a Loss is an offence under Section 135.1(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 caused a loss or created a risk of loss to another
  2. You did so dishonestly
  3. You knew or believed that a loss would occur, or that there was a substantial risk of a loss occurring, and
  4. The loss or risk of loss was against a commonwealth entity

Defences to the charge include:

  1. Duress
  2. Necessity, and
  3. Having a claim of right over the property, which means you genuinely believed you were legally entitled to it

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