Fraud Lawyer in Melbourne - Theft & Dishonesty Offences
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Expert fraud and theft lawyers in Melbourne
Victorian Law takes fraud very seriously. If you have been accused, interviewed by the police (or brought in to interview with the police), or are suspected of fraud and dishonesty offences, you need to get in touch with a lawyer in Melbourne today.
We offer expert legal advice for fraud, shoplifting and theft charges in Melbourne and can act on your behalf to get you the best outcome possible.
Need expert fraud lawyers? Get in touch with our team today for your free consultation. Call 03 8590 8370 to book a free consultation with our lawyer.
What are fraud offences?
Fraud is described as dishonest conduct that includes obtaining property by deception, obtaining financial advantage by deception, making/using a false document, and blackmail.
Though often perceived as a 'white-collar crime', fraud can cover a diverse range of offences for personal gain:
- Shoplifting and theft
- Identity theft
- Credit card fraud
- Superannuation fraud
- Centrelink fraud
- Work cover fraud
- Tax fraud
- Mortgage/loan fraud
- HECS fraud
- Money laundering
- Insider trading
- Mass market fraud
- False statements by company directors
- Suppression of documents
Dishonesty offences are outlined in the Crimes Act 1958 and the Summary Offences Act 1966. Centrelink fraud is a particularly serious criminal law matter and is documented in the Commonwealth's Criminal Code Act 1995.
Our criminal lawyers can explain these dishonesty matters further during your free consultation and help you fully understand the offence you have been accused of.
What is the penalty for fraud in Victoria?
Fraud and deceptive conduct carry various maximum penalties:
- Obtaining property/financial advantage by deception – 10 years imprisonment
- False accounting and falsification of documents – 10 years imprisonment
- Blackmail – 15 years imprisonment
- Money laundering – 5-20 years imprisonment, depending on the extent of the offender’s knowledge of whether money is the proceeds of crime (full knowledge and playing an active role in concealment, knowledge, being reckless as to whether or not it is proceeds of crime, being negligent as to whether or not it is proceeds of crime)
- Centrelink fraud – 10 years imprisonment
- Making, using or supplying identification information – 5 years imprisonment (3 years for possessing equipment to make documentation)
- Possessing false identification information – 3 years imprisonment
- Threats to destroy/damage property – 5 years imprisonment
- Unexplained possession of personal property reasonably suspected to be stolen – 1-year imprisonment
- Taking/using vehicle without consent of owner – 3 months imprisonment or 15 penalty units
Less serious fraud charges will be heard in the Magistrates Court. However, the majority of fraud offences are indictable, meaning that your case will likely be heard in the County Court. As these offences can result in prison sentences – or at the very least affect your criminal record – you'll want to make sure that you consult expert criminal lawyers in Melbourne.
In certain circumstances, indictable offences can be heard in the Magistrates Court. If your lawyer is able to come to an agreement with the prosecution for lesser charges, or if your offence has a maximum prison sentence of 10 years and you get the permission of the Magistrate, you may be able to skip the County Court and attend the Magistrates Court instead.
The penalty you'll receive will depend on a few factors:
- The value of the property or extent of financial advantage
- The impact on the victim(s)
- Whether you have committed fraud-related offences over a long period
- The degree of planning involved in the fraud
- Your intent and personal circumstances
What legal defence do I have?
For fraud cases, a criminal law expert may help you build your case using the following defences:
- You did not act in a dishonest manner
- You were not the person who committed the offence
- You were mistaken in terms of the ownership of the property
- You did not intend to permanently deprive the owner
- You have a claim to the property
- You were unwillingly involved in the deception
Each case differs depending on the charge(s) and the specifics. Our Melbourne lawyers help our clients assemble a strong criminal defence,
To be found guilty, the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt that you have represented yourself in a false way (or acted recklessly, resulting in deception), the victim believed these representations were reality, and you knew that you were not the rightful owner.
Our team of lawyers have extensive experience with fraud and dishonesty-related matters, meaning we know exactly how to get you the best possible outcome. We have represented clients of all sorts in Melbourne and can give you quality law advice.