Criminal Offences

General Dishonesty

In accordance to section 135.1 of the Criminal Code 1995, fraudulent conduct such as general dishonesty is a federal criminal offence. The crime of general dishonesty relates to:

  • Obtaining a gain:
  1. A person commits an offence if:
    1. The person does anything with the intention of dishonesty obtaining a gain from another person; and
    2. The other person is a Commonwealth entity.
  2. In a prosecution for an offence against subsection (1), it is not necessary to prove that the defendant knew that the other person was a Commonwealth entity.
  • Causing a loss:
  1. A person commits an offence if:
    1. The person does anything with the intention of dishonestly causing a loss to another person; and
    2. The person is a Commonwealth entity.
  2. In a prosecution for an offence against subsection 3, it is not necessary to prove that the defendant knew that the other person was a Commonwealth entity.
  3. A person commits an offence if:
    1. The person dishonestly causes a loss, or dishonestly causes a risk of loss to another person; and
    2. The first-mentioned person knows or believes that the loss will occur or that there is a substantial risk of the loss occurring; and
    3. The other person is a Commonwealth entity
  1. Absolute liabilities applies to the paragraph 5c element of the offence.
  • Influencing a Commonwealth public official
  1. A person commits an offence if:
    1. The person does anything with the intention of dishonestly influencing a public official in the exercise of the official’s duties as a public official; and
    2. The public official is a Commonwealth public official; and
    3. The duties are duties as a Commonwealth public official
  1. In a prosecution for an offence against subsection 7, it is not necessary to prove that the defendant knew:
    1. The the official was a Commonwealth public official; or
    2. That the duties were duties as a Commonwealth public official

As a leading criminal law firm based in Sydney, Benjamin Leonardo – The Defenders have widespread experience in a vast range of criminal offences including fraud charges and general dishonesty.

If you or someone you know is facing charges of general dishonesty, contact our Sydney based fraud lawyers now for a FREE and confidential consultation.

PENALTIES

General dishonesty is a federal offence and is taken very seriously in NSW. In fact, as per section 135.1 of the Criminal Code 1995, individuals found guilty of general dishonesty are liable to a maximum penalty of imprisonment for 10 years all of its related offences.

However, it is important to be aware that the Court has the ability to enforce less significant penalties in appropriate circumstances. The Court will deliberate on the severity of the particular offence, past criminal convictions, personal character and individual circumstances to determine whether an alternative penalty is sufficient. Example of alternative penalties include a reduced gaol sentence, Community Service Orders (CSOs), Intensive Corrections Order (ICOs), good behaviour bonds or fines.

It is also important to be aware that the Court that the matter is heard in can greatly impact sentencing. If the matter is heard before a Local Court, it is more likely to receive non-custodial penalties, while matters heard before a District Court may be more likely to receive stricter sentences such as full time imprisonment.

If you’re facing charges of general dishonesty, contact our expert criminal defence lawyers for a FREE first consultation to discuss more accurate advice pertinent to your specific matter.

GUILTY

To be found guilty of general dishonesty as per section 135.1 of the Criminal Code 1995, the prosecution must prove the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

  • That you engaged in conduct with the intention to dishonestly obtain a gain from another person; or
  • That you engaged in conduct with the intention to dishonestly cause a loss or causes a risk of loss from another person; or
  • That you engaged in conduct with the intention to dishonestly influence a public official in the exercise of their duties; and
  • The other person was Commonwealth entity or Commonwealth public official

If the prosecution is successfully able to prove these facts, it is likely that you will be convicted of general dishonesty. If you tend to also agree with the allegations set out against, pleading guilty may be more favourable as opposed to being found guilty before a Court.

Despite the fact that entering a guilty plea will proceed the case to sentencing, whereby the Court will enforce relevant punishment, pleading guilty may result in an alternative penalty or lesser sentence as it demonstrates remorse for your actions.

Our Sydney based fraud lawyers may also be able to negotiate a deal with the prosecution team, given you enter a guilty plea. We work closely with all the clients we represent and provide honest advice if it is in your best interest to plead guilty or not guilty.

At Benjamin Leonardo – The Defenders, we are some of the best criminal lawyers in Sydney who are proud to hold a 90% success rate on all criminal cases that we have represented. If you or someone you know is facing fraud charges in NSW, it is advised to seek legal representation immediately.

Call our criminal defence lawyers now to schedule a FREE first consultation where we can provide tailored advice in relation to your specific matter.

NOT GUILTY

You also have the option to plead not guilty to the charges of general dishonesty should you wish. If you choose to do so, the case will proceed before a Court, in which the prosecution will need to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you did commit the offence as per section 135.1 of the Criminal Code 1995. If they are successful in proving these claims, you may be convicted and therefore the above penalties could be imposed.

However, our Sydney based fraud lawyers are dedicated to achieving the best result possible for our clients. We will cross examine evidence provided in Court and apply relevant defence strategies in order to cast doubt over the reliability of the evidence provided and quash the allegations. If we are successful, the Court may completely dismiss the charges in which you will no longer be facing the penalties stipulated by the Crimes Act 1900. In other instances, our defence strategies may result in a less serious sentence or a downgraded charge that has less severe penalties as opposed to the maximum sentence.

Regardless, as an award winning criminal law firm, we are proud to be some of Sydney’s best criminal defence lawyers. Our lawyers are dedicated to achieving the best possible outcome for the cases we represent.

If you are facing fraud charges relating to general dishonesty, contact Benjamin Leonardo – The Defenders for a FREE consultation.

THE DEFENCE

If you or someone you know is facing fraud charges relating to general dishonesty, our expert criminal defence lawyers may argue the follow criminal defences:

Duress: Arises in situations where unlawful coercion has been used to persuade the accused to the criminal activity and would not usually be something they would do if the threats had not been present.

Necessity: Our criminal defence lawyers will aim to establish that the defendant participated in the crime of general dishonesty the protect themselves by danger from either a human or natural forces. In appropriate situations, this defence must prove that the criminal act (i.e: general dishonesty) was only undertaken in order to avoid consequences that are deemed as “irreparable evil”. The accused must also honestly believe that they were in a situation of “imminent peril” and had no other alternatives to avoid the threat.

WHICH COURT?

The crime of general dishonesty is classified as a Commonwealth offence under the Crimes Code 1995. In NSW, federal cases have been granted jurisdiction in which the same procedure of state offences are typically followed. This means that it is likely your matter will be heard at the Local Court unless an election has been made by yourself or the prosecution team. If an election has been made, the matter will be heard at the District Court.

At Benjamin Leonardo – The Defenders, we are a leading criminal law firm with offices based in Parramatta and the Sydney CBD. Our expert fraud lawyers have extensive experience working in Local and District Courts surrounding these areas, as well as all over NSW. Should one of our criminal defence lawyers represent you in relation to general dishonesty, you be confident you are receiving superior representation and support regardless of the Court that your case will be heard at.