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General Dishonesty With Respect to a Carriage Service Provider – Causing a Risk of Loss

General dishonesty with respect to a carriage service provider – causing a risk of loss is an offence under section 474.2(3) of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth), which carries a maximum penalty of 5 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 a carriage service provider
  2. You did so dishonestly
  3. You knew or believed the loss would occur or a substantial risk of loss would be created, and
  4. The loss was in connection with the supply of a carriage service.

A ‘loss’ includes a loss in property, whether temporary or permanent, as well as getting what one might get.

A ‘carriage service’ is:

‘a service for carrying communications by means of guided and/or unguided electromagnetic energy’, which includes telephone calls, text messages and internet transmissions, such as emails and the use of social media sites.

A ‘carriage service provider’ is anyone that supplies, or proposes to supply, a listed carriage service to the public using a network unit:

  1. Owned by one or more carriers, or
  2. In relation to which a nominated carrier declaration is in force.

This includes companies such as Telstra, Vodafone and Optus.

‘Dishonesty’ is determined:

  1. According to the standards of ordinary people, and
  2. Known by you to be dishonest according to those standards.

Duress and necessity are defences to the charge.

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