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Forgery

Commonwealth Offences – Federal

The Law – Forgery

What the Law states

Sections 144.1 of the Commonwealth Criminal Code states:

(1) A person is guilty of an offence if:

(a) The person makes a false document with the intention that the person or another will use it:

(i) To dishonestly induce a third person in the third person’s capacity as a public official to accept it a genuine; and

(ii) If it is so accepted, to dishonestly obtain a gain, dishonestly cause a loss, or dishonestly influence the exercise of a public duty or function; and

(b) The capacity is a capacity as a Commonwealth public official.

(2) In a prosecution for an offence against subsection (1), it is not necessary to prove that the defendant knew that the capacity was a capacity as a Commonwealth public official.

(3) A person is guilty of an offence if:

(a) The person makes a false document with the intention that the person or another will use it:

(i) To dishonestly cause a computer, a machine or an electronic device to respond to the document as if the document were genuine; and

(ii) If it is so responded to, to dishonestly obtain a gain, dishonestly cause a loss, or dishonestly influence the exercise of a public duty or function; and

(b) The response is in connection with the operations of a Commonwealth entity.

(4) In a prosecution for an offence under subsection (3) it is not necessary to ; prove that the defendant knew that the response was in connection with the operations of a Commonwealth entity.

(5) A person is guilty of an offence if:

(a) The person makes a false document with the intention that the person or another will use it:

(i) To dishonestly induce a third person to accept it as genuine; and

(ii) If it is so accepted, to dishonestly influence the exercise of a public duty or function; and

(b) The false document is a false Commonwealth document.

(6) In a prosecution for an offence against subsection (5) it is not necessary to prove that the defendant knew that the false document was a false Commonwealth document.

(7) A person is guilty of an offence if:

(a) The person makes a false document with the intention that the person or another will use it to:

(i) To dishonestly cause a computer, a machine or an electronic device to respond to the document as if the document were genuine; and

(ii) If it is so responded to, to dishonestly obtain gain, dishonestly cause a loss, or dishonestly influence the exercise of a public duty or function; and

(b) The false document is a false Commonwealth document.

(8) In a prosecution for an offence against subsection (7), it is not necessary to prove that the defendant knew that the false document was a false Commonwealth document.

(9) Section 15.4 (extended geographical jurisdiction-category D) applies to an offence against subsection (1)

Section 15.4 states

If a law of the Commonwealth provides that this section applies to a particular offence, the offence applies:

(a) whether or not the conduct constituting the alleged offence occurs in Australia; and

(b) whether or not a result of the conduct constituting the alleged offence occurs in Australia.

Maximum Penalty – Forgery

The Maximum penalty for the offence of Forgery is 10 years imprisonment.

What the Police must prove – Forgery

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 a false document with the intention that the person or another will use it:

(a) To dishonestly induce a third person in the third person’s capacity as a public official to accept it a genuine; and

(b If it is so accepted, to dishonestly obtain a gain, dishonestly cause a loss, or dishonestly influence the exercise of a public duty or function; and

2. The capacity is a capacity as a Commonwealth public official.

3. The accused made a false document with the intention that the person or another will use it:

(a) To dishonestly cause a computer, a machine or an electronic device to respond to the document as if the document were genuine; and

(b) If it is so responded to, to dishonestly obtain a gain, dishonestly cause a loss, or dishonestly influence the exercise of a public duty or function; and

(i) The response is in connection with the operations of a Commonwealth entity.

(ii) In a prosecution for an offence under subsection (3) it is not necessary to prove that the defendant knew that the response was in connection with the operations of a Commonwealth entity.

4. The accused made a false document with the intention that the person or another will use it:

(a) To dishonestly induce a third person to accept it as genuine; and

(b) If it is so accepted, to dishonestly influence the exercise of a public duty or function; and

5. The false document is a false Commonwealth document.

6. The person made a false document with the intention that the person or another will use it to:

(a) To dishonestly cause a computer, a machine or an electronic device to respond to the document as if the document were genuine; and

(b) If it is so responded to, to dishonestly obtain gain, dishonestly cause a loss, or dishonestly influence the exercise of a public duty or function; and

7. The false document was a false Commonwealth document.

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.

Possible Defences

Possible defences to this offence include but are not limited to:

1. The accused did not make a false document with the intention that the person or another will use it:

(a) To dishonestly induce a third person in the third person’s capacity as a public official to accept it a genuine; and

(b) If it is so accepted, to dishonestly obtain a gain, dishonestly cause a loss, or dishonestly influence the exercise of a public duty or function; and

2. The capacity is not a capacity as a Commonwealth public official.

3. The accused did not make a false document with the intention that the person or another will use it:

(a) To dishonestly cause a computer, a machine or an electronic device to respond to the document as if the document were genuine; and

(b) If it is so responded to, to dishonestly obtain a gain, dishonestly cause a loss, or dishonestly influence the exercise of a public duty or function; and

(i) The response is in connection with the operations of a Commonwealth entity.

(ii) In a prosecution for an offence under subsection (3) it is not necessary to ; prove that the defendant knew that the response was in connection with the operations of a Commonwealth entity.

4. The accused did not make a false document with the intention that the person or another will use it:

(a) To dishonestly induce a third person to accept it as genuine; and

(b) If it is so accepted, to dishonestly influence the exercise of a public duty or function; and

5. The false document was not a false Commonwealth document.

6. The person did not make a false document with the intention that the person or another will use it to:

(a) To dishonestly cause a computer, a machine or an electronic device to respond to the document as if the document were genuine; and

(b) If it is so responded to, to dishonestly obtain gain, dishonestly cause a loss, or dishonestly influence the exercise of a public duty or function; and

7. The false document was not a false Commonwealth document.

Which court will hear the matter

This matter is Commonwealth Offence which means it is dealt with in the District Court.

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