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False Pretences

What the law says

Section 179 of the Crimes Act states:

Whosoever, by any false pretence or by any wilfully false promise, or partly by a false pretence and partly by a wilfully false promise, obtains from any person any property, with intent to defraud, shall be liable to imprisonment for five 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 made either a false pretence of fact, or a wilfully false promise, or a partly false pretence and a partly false promise to some person.
2. The accused knew it to be false.
3. Through means of such pretence (false promise etc) the accused obtained property.
4. With intent to defraud.

It will be necessary for the Police in every offence to prove that the accused was the person who committed the offence.

Maximum penalty

The Maximum penalty for the offence of False Pretencesis five years imprisonment.

Which court will hear the matter

Where the value of the property charged exceeds $5000, 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.

Where the value of the property charged does not exceed $5000, this matter is a Table 2 offence which means that the DPP 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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