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Custody Of False Instruments

What the law says

Section 302 of the Crimes Act states:

A person who has in his or her custody, or under his or her control, an instrument which is false, and which he or she knows to be false, with the intention that the person or another person will use it to induce another person:

  • (a) to accept the instrument as genuine, and
    (b) because of that acceptance, to do or not do some act to that other person s, or to another person s, prejudice, is liable to imprisonment for 10 years.

What the police must prove

In order for the Police to prove their case at Court, they must prove each of the following matters beyond a reasonable doubt.

1. The accused had in his or her custody or control.
2. An instrument which was false.
3. The accused knew it to be false.
4. It was with the intention that another person, would:

  • (a) to accept the instrument as genuine, and
  • (b) because of that acceptance, to do or not do some act to that other person’s, or to another person’s, prejudice.

It will be necessary for the Police in every offence to prove that the accused was the person who committed the offence. Click here to learn more about identification evidence.

Maximum sentence

The Maximum penalty for the offence of Custody of False Instrument is 10 years imprisonment.

Which court will hear the matter

This matter is a Table 1 offence which means that either the DPP or an accused can elect to have the matter dealt with in the District Court. If no election is made it will be dealt with in the Local Court.

Possible defences

Possible defences to this offence include but are not limited to

1. Duress
2. Necessity
3. Intoxication

 

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