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Recklessly Making a False or Misleading Statement in an Application

Recklessly Making a False or Misleading Statement in an Application is an offence under Section 136.1(4) of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth) which carries a maximum penalty of 6 months in prison.

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

  1. You made an oral, written or other form of statement
  2. You were reckless as to whether the statement was false or misleading, or that an omission made it misleading
  3. The statement was made in, or in connection with, an application for a licence, permit, registration or authority, or an application or claim for a benefit, and
  4. The statement was made to a Commonwealth entity, or to a person exercising powers under, or in connection with, a Commonwealth law, or in compliance with, or purported compliance with, a Commonwealth law

The statement must be false or misleading, or the omission misleading, ‘in a material particular’ but if the prosecution proves any degree of false or misleading statement or omission you must then establish this was not misleading ‘in a material particular’ in order to disprove that part of the offence.

Defences to the charge include:

  1. Duress, and
  2. Necessity

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