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Fraud, Theft & Dishonesty Offences

Dishonesty offences can occur in many different circumstances, however, usually involve property or money.  The most common dishonesty offences are stealing and fraud.

Dishonesty offences range in severity.  The penalty likely to be imposed on you is dependent on your charge and your particular circumstances.  In some circumstances, you may be required to spend time in custody if convicted of a dishonesty offence.

In addition to facing a significant penalty, dishonesty offences can have a long lasting impact on your future.  Employers can be hesitant to hire employees who have a history of dishonesty offences.  The presence of a dishonesty conviction on your criminal history can therefore have a very real impact on your capacity to maintain your employment, or obtain employment in the future.

We are able to explain your matter to you and ensure you understand the charge, the likely penalty and your options for progressing the matter.  We are able to appear on your behalf and ensure the Court understands any mitigating features in your favour.  This can result in a lesser penalty being imposed.  We are also able to seek (in some circumstances) that no conviction be recorded on your criminal history.  This can minimise the impact of this offence on your future.

We can assist you with:

Burglary Offences

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Break & Enter Offences

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Fraud Charges

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Stealing Offences

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Unlawful Use of a Motor Vehicle

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Receiving Tainted Property

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Burglary Offences

You may be charged with burglary if you enter the house of another with the intention to commit a crime.  It must be demonstrated that you:-

  • entered the dwelling of another person; and
  • intended to commit an indictable offence inside the dwelling.

The term ‘indictable offence” is used to describe matters that must be heard before the District or Supreme Court (except in certain circumstances).  Indictable offences include more serious criminal matters, such as assault, stealing or robbery.

Burglary is one of the most serious offences in Queensland.  It is likely that you will spend time in custody if you are convicted, and you should therefore seek legal advice as soon as possible.

We are able to explain your matter to you and ensure you understand the charge, the likely penalty and your options for progressing the matter.  We are able to appear on your behalf and ensure the Court understands any mitigating features in your favour.  This can result in a lesser penalty being imposed.

What is the maximum penalty for burglary

The maximum penalty for burglary is 14 years imprisonment.

There are certain circumstances that “aggravate” the charge and increase the maximum penalty able to be imposed.  The circumstances of aggravation for burglary include:-

  • the offence occurring at night;
  • threatening violence;
  • being in the company of other people; or
  • causing damage to property.

It is also a circumstance of aggravation if you have previously been convicted of a similar offence.  It is important to understand the penalty that applies in your specific circumstances.  You should seek legal advice about your specific circumstances, and the penalty likely to be imposed on you.

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Do I need to see a lawyer?

It is likely you will spend time in custody if you are convicted of burglary.  You should seek legal advice as soon as possible.

We are able to provide you detailed advice in relation to your charges, and ensure you understand the penalty likely to be imposed on you if you are convicted of the offence.  We will ensure you are kept up to date with your matter, and will ensure the Court understands all mitigating features in your favour.  This can result in a lesser penalty being imposed.

If you have been charged with burglary seek advice as soon as possible, contact us on (07) 4963 2000 or via our online contact form.

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Break and Enter Offences

Break and enter is an aggravated burglary offence.  You may be charged with burglary if you enter the house of another with the intention to commit a crime.  The aggravated offence of break and enter applies if the house was accessed by “break”.

“Break” is widely defined, and includes unlocking, pulling, pushing or opening a door, window or any other thing intended to cover or close an opening in a dwelling.  Therefore, you are considered to enter a dwelling by “break” if you open a door to access the property.

It is likely that you will spend time in custody if you are convicted of break and enter.  You should therefore seek legal advice as soon as possible.  We are able to explain your matter to you and ensure you understand the charge, the likely penalty and your options for progressing the matter.  We are able to appear on your behalf and ensure the Court understands any mitigating features in your favour.  This can result in a lesser penalty being imposed.

What Court will my matter be heard in?

Your matter will be heard in the District Court.

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What is the maximum penalty for breaking and entering?

The maximum penalty for breaking and entering is life imprisonment.  It is likely you will spend time in custody if you are convicted of break and enter.  You should seek legal advice as soon as possible.

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Do I need to see a lawyer?

Break and enter is a serious offence, and there will be significant consequences if you are convicted of the offence.  You should obtain legal advice as soon as possible.

We will explain your matter to you, and ensure you understand your options to progress the matter and any possible defences that may apply in your circumstances.  We will ensure you are kept up to date with your matter, and will ensure the Court understands all mitigating features in your favour.  This can result in a lesser penalty being imposed.

If you have been charged with breaking and entering seek legal advice as soon as possible, contact us on (07) 4963 2000 or via our online contact form.

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Fraud Charges

Fraud involves behaviour that is dishonest, corrupt or deceitful.  Fraud is a complex and broad area of criminal law.  The offences range in severity, from complex and lucrative scams to opportunistic use of a EFTPOS card that does not belong to you.

You may be charged with fraud if you dishonestly:-

  • used property belonging to another;
  • obtained property from another person;
  • induced a person to deliver property to another person;
  • gained a benefit for yourself or any other person;
  • caused a detriment to any other person;
  • induced any person to do any act which they are lawfully entitled to abstain from; or
  • make off, knowing that payment on the spot is required with the intent to avoid payment.

The penalties for fraud can be significant, and can include a period of imprisonment.   In addition to facing a substantial penalty, employers can be hesitant to hire employees who have been convicted of fraud.  Therefore, being convicted of fraud can have a long lasting impact on your future.

You should seek legal advice if you are charged with fraud.  We will ensure you understand the charge, the likely penalty and your options for progressing the matter.  We are able to appear on your behalf and ensure the Court understands any mitigating features in your favour.  This can result in a lesser penalty being imposed.  We are also able to seek (in some circumstances) that no conviction be recorded on your criminal history.  This can minimise the impact of this offence on your future.

What is the maximum penalty for fraud?

The maximum penalty for fraud is five years imprisonment.

There are certain circumstances which “aggravate” the charge and increase the maximum penalty able to be imposed.  The circumstances of aggravation for fraud include:-

  • if you were the director of the company;
  • if you are an employee of the victim; and
  • if you obtained more than $30,000.00 as a result of the fraud.

It is also a circumstance of aggravation if you have previously been convicted of a similar offence.  It is important to understand the penalty that applies in your specific circumstances.  You should seek legal advice about your specific circumstances, and the penalty likely to be imposed on you.

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Do I need to see a lawyer?

You may face a significant penalty should you be charged with fraud, particularly if an aggravated circumstance applies.  In addition to facing a significant penalty, being convicted of fraud can have a long lasting impact on your future.  The presence of a fraud conviction on your criminal history can impact your capacity to maintain your employment, or obtain employment in the future.

We will ensure you understand the offence and the penalty likely to be imposed on you.  We will provide you with your options to progress your matter and deliver easy to understand legal advice.  We are able to appear on your behalf and ensure the Court understands any mitigating features in your favour.  This can result in a lesser penalty being imposed.  We are also able to seek (in some circumstances) that no conviction be recorded on your criminal history.  This can minimise the impact of this offence on your future.

If you have been charged with fraud seek legal advice as soon as possible, contact us on (07) 4963 2000 or via our online contact form.

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Stealing Offences

You may be charged with stealing if you take an item belonging to another person, or convert an item to your own use, without the consent of the owner.  The item must be taken or converted with the intention of permanently depriving the owner of that property to constitute stealing.

The severity of the charge is dependent on the item stolen.  There are some offences for which you will likely receive a small fine, and be required to reimburse the owner with the value of the property.  However, there are some circumstances that “aggravate” the charge.  This can result in a much more significant penalty being imposed.

In addition to the penalty imposed, a stealing offence can have a detrimental impact on your future.  The presence of a dishonesty conviction on your criminal history can impact your capacity to maintain your employment, or obtain employment in the future.  It is important to seek legal advice to minimise the impact on your future as much as possible in your circumstances.

We are able to explain your matter to you and ensure you understand the charge, the likely penalty and your options for progressing the matter.  We are able to appear on your behalf and ensure the Court understands any mitigating features in your favour.  This can result in a lesser penalty being imposed.  We are also able to seek (in some circumstances) that no conviction be recorded on your criminal history.  This can minimise the impact of this offence on your future.

Which Court will my matter be heard before?

Your matter will usually be heard before the Magistrates Court.  However, some stealing offences must be heard before the District Court.

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What is the maximum penalty for stealing?

The maximum penalty for stealing is 5 years imprisonment.

There are certain circumstances that aggravate a stealing charge and increase the maximum penalty able to be imposed.  This includes stealing:-

  • a firearm or ammunition;
  • property worth more than $5,000.00;
  • during a natural disaster;
  • a vehicle.

In these circumstances, the maximum penalty increases significantly.  It is important you seek legal advice about your matter, and the penalty that will apply in your particular circumstances.

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Do I have to give the item back?

You will likely be required to pay restitution to the owner if the item has not been returned.  The purpose of restitution is to reimburse the owner for the item.    The restitution will be to the value of the item taken or converted.

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Do I need to see a lawyer?

You may face a significant penalty should you be charged with stealing.  You may also be required to pay a substantial amount of restitution to the owner of the property.  We will ensure you understand the offence and the penalty likely to be imposed on you.  We will provide you with your options to progress your matter and deliver easy to understand legal advice.

We are able to appear on your behalf and ensure the Court understands any mitigating features in your favour.  This can result in a lesser penalty being imposed.  We are also able to seek (in some circumstances) that no conviction be recorded on your criminal history.  This can minimise the impact of this offence on your future.

If you have been charged with stealing you should seek legal advice as soon as possible.  Contact us on (07) 4963 2000 or via our online contact form.

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Unlawful use of a motor vehicle

Unlawful use of a motor vehicle involves using a motor vehicle without the consent of the owner.  The owner must be deprived of using (or possessing) the motor vehicle either temporarily or permanently for you to be charged with this offence.

The severity of the charge is dependent on the circumstances of your case.  There are some circumstances that “aggravate” the charge, such as causing deliberate damage to the vehicle.  The penalty able to be imposed is higher where an aggravating circumstance applies and this can result in a more significant penalty being imposed.

We are able to explain your matter to you and ensure you understand the charge, the likely penalty and your options for progressing the matter.  We are able to appear on your behalf and ensure the Court understands any mitigating features in your favour.  This can result in a lesser penalty being imposed.  We are also able to seek (in some circumstances) that no conviction be recorded on your criminal history.  This can minimise the impact of this offence on your future.

Why have I been charged if the other person did not "own" the vehicle?

The charge does not require the use of the vehicle without consent of the owner.  You will be charged with this offence if you use a motor vehicle without the consent of the person who is “in lawful possession” of the vehicle.  This can include a person who is borrowing the car with the permission of the owner.

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What if the vehicle was a rental car?

It is possible to be charged with unlawful use of a motor vehicle if you retain a rental vehicle outside the terms of hire.  In these circumstances, your lawful use of the vehicle ceases when the agreement expires.

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What court will my matter be heard in?

Your matter will usually be heard before the Magistrates Court.  There are some circumstances where your matter may be heard before the District Court.

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What is the maximum penalty for unlawful use of a motor vehicle?

The maximum penalty for unlawful use or possession of a motor vehicle in Queensland is 7 years imprisonment.

There are certain circumstances that aggravate an unlawful use of a motor vehicle charge.  This includes causing deliberate damage to the vehicle, or using the vehicle in the commission of an offence.  In these circumstances, the maximum penalty increases significantly.  It is important you seek legal advice about your matter, and the penalty that will apply in your particular circumstances.

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Do I need to see a lawyer?

You may face a significant penalty should you be charged with unlawful use of a motor vehicle, particularly if the vehicle was damaged.  You may also be called upon to show cause as to why your driver’s licence should not be disqualified.

We will ensure you understand the offence and the penalty likely to be imposed on you.  We will provide you with your options to progress your matter and deliver easy to understand legal advice.  We are able to appear on your behalf and ensure the Court understands any mitigating features in your favour.  This can result in a lesser penalty being imposed.  We are also able to seek (in some circumstances) that no conviction be recorded on your criminal history.  This can minimise the impact of this offence on your future.

If you have been charged with unlawful use of a motor vehicle and would like legal advice, please contact our experienced criminal lawyers to discuss your matter on (07) 4963 2000 or via our online contact form.

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Receiving Tainted Property

It is an offence to accept property if you suspect the property is stolen.  It does not matter whether you were the person that stole the property.  A reasonable belief the property was stolen is sufficient for you to be charged with this offence.

The severity of the charge is dependent on the circumstances of your case.  There are some circumstances that “aggravate” the charge, including:-

  • if the property was obtained illegally;
  • if the property was a firearm or weapon;
  • if the property was obtained while you were employed as a pawn broker.

The penalty able to be imposed is higher where an aggravating circumstance applies and this can result in a more significant penalty being imposed.

We are able to explain your matter to you and ensure you understand the charge, the likely penalty and your options for progressing the matter.  We are able to appear on your behalf and ensure the Court understands any mitigating features in your favour.  This can result in a lesser penalty being imposed.  We are also able to seek (in some circumstances) that no conviction be recorded on your criminal history.  This can minimise the impact of this offence on your future.

What Court will my matter be heard in?

Your matter will be heard in the Magistrates Court, unless an aggravating circumstance applies.  A charge with an aggravating circumstance will be heard before the District Court.

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What is the maximum penalty for receiving tainted property?

The maximum penalty for receiving tainted property is 7 years imprisonment.  There are several aggravating circumstances that may increase the penalty.

The penalties for receiving tainted property are as follows:-

 

OFFENCE MAXIMUM PENALTY
Receiving tainted property 7 years imprisonment
Receiving tainted property by committing a crime 14 years imprisonment
Receiving tainted property (firearm or weapon) 14 years imprisonment
Receiving tainted property while acting as a pawn broker 14 years imprisonment

It is important you seek legal advice about your matter, and the penalty that will apply in your particular circumstances.

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Do I need to see a lawyer?

You may face a significant penalty should you be charged with receiving tainted property, particularly if an aggravated circumstance applies.

We will ensure you understand the offence and the penalty likely to be imposed on you.  We will provide you with your options to progress your matter and deliver easy to understand legal advice.  We are able to appear on your behalf and ensure the Court understands any mitigating features in your favour.  This can result in a lesser penalty being imposed.  We are also able to seek (in some circumstances) that no conviction be recorded on your criminal history.  This can minimise the impact of this offence on your future.

If you have been charged with receiving tainted property contact our office as soon as possible.

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Why it’s important to get advice

There is always a range in the severity of penalty that could be imposed, even in matters where a period of mandatory imprisonment applies.  The presiding Judge or Magistrate has discretion and will impose a penalty that is appropriate in your circumstances.

We can assist by ensuring the presiding Judge or Magistrate has all of the relevant information, and is aware of your particular circumstances and mitigating factors.  This can result in you having a lesser penalty imposed.

If you would like legal advice about your matter, or for our office to represent you, please contact our office on (07) 4963 2000 or via our online contact form.

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