Centrelink Fraud – 134.2 and 135.2 Commonwealth Criminal Code Act 1995

The offence of obtaining financial advantage from Centrelink by deception is taken seriously by the courts. Other than causing you great stress and worry, it can be difficult to find the right experienced specialist lawyer in criminal defence fraud charges in Sydney.

To get the best chances at avoiding a criminal conviction and possible prison, speak to one of our expert senior Centrelink fraud lawyers who have a wealth of experience, who have managed on countless times to get these charges dropped early. They will explain how to, and what likelihood you have of getting your charges dropped early.

Call us now on (02) 8606 2218 to book a free first consultation with an experienced Fraud Defence Lawyer.

Your Options in Court

You will be found guilty of obtaining financial advantage with or without deception and dishonesty from Centrelink only if police can prove each of the following elements of the offence beyond reasonable doubt:

If charged with obtaining financial advantage with deception and dishonesty, s. 134.2 Criminal Code Act:

  • You did something deceptive
  • That deception resulted in you receiving a financial advantage
  • The financial advantage was taken from a commonwealth entity, such as Centrelink
  • Your deception was dishonest according to the standards of ordinary people
  • You were aware that by your deception there was a substantial risk of receiving a financial advantage, and in the circumstances you were aware of at the time, it was unjustifiable to take the risk

If charged with obtaining financial advantage, with no deception and dishonesty, s. 135.2 Criminal Code Act:

  • You did something that caused you to receive a financial advantage
  • You knew that you were not eligible to receive that financial advantage
  • You received that financial advantage from a commonwealth entity, such as Centrelink

You will be found not guilty, and your charge dismissed, if any one of the above elements of the offences are not proven by police.

Defences to this charge

You are NOT GUILTY if:

  • Duress or Necessity: where you did it from fear of harm to you or someone else
  • You are under 10 years of age when the offence was committed
  • You are aged between 10 and 14 years, and you didn’t know that what you did was wrong
  • Mental illness defence: where you at the time of your offending conduct, you were suffering a mental impairment, causing you not to know the nature or quality of your actions, or you could not reason with a moderate degree of composure about the wrongness of your actions.
  • You made an innocent and reasonable mistake in a set of circumstances it was reasonable for you to have held that belief.

Being specialists in fraud related cases, particularly Centrelink fraud, our team of senior lawyers have achieved outstanding results in proving their clients innocence and getting their fraud charges dropped early in the case, saving significant legal fees. With a focus of getting charges dropped early, speak to them on how to maximise your chances at successfully achieving this for your case.

Call us now on (02) 8606 2218.

If pleading guilty for Centrelink fraud for obtaining financial advantage with or without deception and dishonesty, it’s important to maximise your chances at getting the most lenient possible outcome. Below are some critical pointers on how to achieve this.

25% discount on punishment

An early plea of guilty to a charge of Centrelink fraud can allow the Judge to reduce your punishment by up to 25%. This allows for a much more lenient outcome with better chances of avoiding a criminal conviction.

Because the amount of discount reduces the later the plea of guilty is entered, It’s critical to get realistic and experienced advice so that any plea of guilty is entered at an early enough stage to receive this discount towards a better outcome. A plea of guilty early in the case can also reflect remorse and contrition allowing for further leniency.

Good character references

This is a character reference letter that the Judge will read to get a picture of your otherwise good character to allow further leniency to your punishment. Each character reference should express your good character, your remorse, contrition, and insight into the offence which are all main factors allowing for a lighter outcome.

Our senior lawyers have extensive experience having read and reviewed thousands of these for over 20 years. You will be guided at each stage to ensure references are covered from the right people in your life. This can include, an apology letter from you, letter from family, friend, colleague or employer, or charity.

Negotiate to drop charges

Having convinced police to drop Centrelink fraud charges countless times over the years, our senior lawyers are considered specialists in getting charges dropped early. They have achieved this by very carefully analysing the police evidence, pointing out the issues in it, and using that information to strategically negotiate in the best way for your case.

To maximise your chances at successfully getting your charge dropped, speak to one of our senior lawyers now.

Negotiate facts

The judge will also punish you based on what is expressed in the set of facts which you plead guilty to. This will express what you did, how it was done and the amount of money involved. As the set of facts are usually drafted by police, it’s often one sided, not giving the complete picture or amount of money involved. This therefore paints a worse picture of you and often results in a heavier punishment by the Judge.

Our team of senior lawyers know exactly how to, and have successfully, negotiated and changed those set of facts to express what and how it all happened, including the true amount involved, painting you in a much better light, usually resulting in a much lighter punishment and better outcome in court. This is often achieved by pointing out all the holes in the police evidence after extensively reading it when approaching police.

Psychologist reports

A strong court report from an experienced and respected psychologist or psychiatrist can significantly improve your court outcome if it expresses your mental state of mind, such as depression or schizophrenia, your remorse and insight into your offending conduct, and your prospects of rehabilitation all allowing the Judge to give a much lighter punishment, even avoid prison and conviction.

Our team of senior lawyers only use the best of the best known and respected psychologists and psychiatrists in Australia. This ensures your court report will give your case the maximum effect. Our experienced lawyers will guide at every stage.

Maximum penalty

The maximum punishment for obtaining financial advantage with deception and dishonesty under s. 134.2 Criminal Code is a term of imprisonment of up to 10 years.

The maximum punishment for obtaining financial advantage where there is no deception and dishonesty under s. 135.2 Criminal Code is a term of imprisonment of up to 12 months.

It’s important to know that whist these are maximum punishments the court can impose, it is rarely given. The maximum is only reserved for the most serious cases. Below are many other types of punishment the Judge can give.

Types of penalties

The Judge can give you any one of the following types of punishment, depending on the above points in preparing your case, and the way it’s presented to the Judge:

  1. Section 10 Dismissal
  2. Conditional Release Order
  3. Fine
  4. Community Correction Order
  5. Intensive Correction Order
  6. Full Time Imprisonment

Speak now to one of our respected and experienced Sydney criminal defence lawyers, specialising in Centrelink fraud cases, for realistic and practical advice on your case.

Call us now on (02) 8606 2218 to book a free first consultation with an experienced Fraud Defence Lawyer.