False Or Misleading Document – s 137.2 Commonwealth Criminal Code 1995

Charged with a false or misleading document fraud offence is daunting. An experienced Sydney criminal lawyer specialising in fraud offences can guide you through the process, and maximise your chances at avoiding a criminal record and proving your innocence.

Our senior fraud lawyers have won what others considered “un-winnable” fraud charges countless times over the years with a special focus on getting 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 can only be found guilty to the offence of a misleading or false document charge if police can prove each of the following elements in court:

  • You produced a document to another person;
  • That document was false or misleading in a “material particular”;
  • You knew that the document was false or misleading

You will be found not guilty and your charge dismissed if police are unable to prove each of the above 3 elements beyond reasonable doubt in court.

Defences to this charge

You will be Not Guilty if:

  • The document is not false or misleading in a “material particular”, which means, the document was trivial or inconsequential i.e. The document was not capable of influencing the victim’s attitude to the claim made upon it.
  • Honest and reasonable mistake of fact defence: where you honestly believed that the document was true, and that belief was reasonably held by you in the circumstances.
  • You didn’t produce the document to the other person.
  • Duress or Necessity: where you were coerced or threatened to produce the false or misleading document.

Your fraud charge will be dismissed in court if any of the above defences apply to your case. Speak to one of our senior specialist fraud lawyers on how to strengthen your best defence early in your case. There will first be a focus on getting the charge dropped early.

Call us now on (02) 8606 2218.

If pleading guilty to an offence of false or misleading document, read below for critically important tips and information on the best way to prepare and present your fraud charge. This will put you in the best position to avoid a criminal record even after pleading guilty.

25% discount on punishment

Pleading guilty to a commonwealth offence of false or misleading documents at the earliest time in your case will mean the Judge will take this as a sign of your remorse and give you a discount on punishment of up to 25%. This leads to a much more lenient court outcome and a better chance at avoiding a criminal record.

This is why it is critical to get expert advice on your fraud charge as early as possible to avoid missing out on the full discount. The later you enter a plea of guilty, the less discount you get.

Good character references

Getting good character reference letters expressing your good character, remorse and contrition and embarrassment allows the Judge reading it to give you further leniency and a lighter outcome.

Our team of lawyers are highly experienced and will guide you. These letters can come from yourself as an apology, family, friend, charity and employer or colleague. For best results, our lawyers will review each one before handing it to the Judge to read.

Negotiate to drop charges

An experienced fraud lawyer can sometimes negotiate with police to drop false or misleading document charges early in the case. This has on many occasions been successfully achieved by our senior fraud lawyers by carefully reading the police evidence and picking out all the holes in it to use in strong and tactful negotiations.

Our team of lawyers specialise in getting fraud charges dropped. They know exactly how to maximise your chances at successfully achieving this early in your case.

Negotiate facts

The set of police facts is what the police initially draft to give the Judge to read after you plead guilty. It is meant to express what you did and how it was done. It is often one sided and inaccurate which usually results with the Judge giving you a heavier punishment. An experienced fraud specialist lawyer can, and often does change this by negotiating with police to reflect you in a better light. This usually results in a much lighter punishment.

Our senior lawyers often successfully convince police to change the set of facts by pointing out all the holes in the police evidence to police after carefully reading the evidence of the case.

Psychologist reports

A powerfully written court report from a highly respected and experienced psychologist or psychiatrist can significantly improve your court outcome after a plea of guilty, often resulting in the Judge giving a much lighter punishment.

Our senior lawyers are highly experienced in this. They will ensure the best psychologist or psychiatrist is picked for your particular case, and ensure that the report comments on critical points about you to maximise your chances at the best outcome. This includes opinions of your state of mind, insight, remorse and shame.

Maximum penalty

The maximum punishment the court can impose for an offence of false or misleading documents is a term of imprisonment of up to 12 months. This offence is a lesser serious type of the other commonwealth fraud offences.

The Courts only give the maximum punishments to the most extreme and serious cases. It is rarely given to someone who has no previous convictions.

Types of penalties

The Judge can give any one of the following types of penalties to your case after pleading guilty. The punishment you get will depend on the above points on preparing and presenting your case:

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

To maximise your chances at avoiding a criminal record and getting the best possible outcome, speak to one of our Sydney team of specialist fraud lawyers now, who regularly appear in courts for fraud offences. They will be able to give you immediate realistic and practical advice to best prepare and present your case.

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