Obtaining Property by Deception Offences in Victoria

An overview of the offence of obtaining property by deception in Victoria

Obtaining property by deception is a serious offence in Victoria and falls under the broader category of fraud offences. This offence involves dishonestly obtaining property belonging to another person to permanently deprive the other person of it.

Obtaining property by deception offences

Under Section 81 of the Crimes Act 1958 (Vic), a person is guilty of obtaining property by deception if they, by any deception, dishonestly obtain property belonging to another to permanently deprive the other of it. ‘Deception’ is defined as any words or conduct that cause a person to accept as true what is false or to accept as false what is true.

How charges are laid for obtaining property by deception

Charges for obtaining property by deception are usually laid by the police. The police will investigate the incident, gather evidence, and interview the accused and any witnesses. If there is sufficient evidence to support the elements of the offence, the police will lay charges and issue a charge sheet to the accused. This charge sheet will outline the details of the offence and specify the date on which the accused is required to appear in court.

Court Process for obtaining property by deception offences

The court process for obtaining property by deception offences in Victoria involves several stages:

  1. First Appearance: The accused will attend court for the first time, where the charges will be explained, and the accused will be asked to enter a plea of guilty or not guilty.
  2. Committal Hearing: If the accused pleads not guilty, a committal hearing may be held in the Magistrates’ Court to determine whether there is enough evidence to support a trial.
  3. Trial: If the case proceeds to trial, it will typically be heard in the County Court or the Supreme Court of Victoria. The prosecution and defence will present their evidence, and a jury will determine whether the accused is guilty or not guilty.
  4. Sentencing: If the accused is found guilty, the court will impose a sentence, which may include imprisonment, a fine, or other penalties.

Penalties for obtaining property by deception in Victoria

The maximum penalty for obtaining property by deception in Victoria is 10 years imprisonment. However, the actual penalty imposed will depend on various factors, including the value of the property obtained, the circumstances surrounding the offence, and the offender’s criminal history.

Consequences of being found guilty of obtaining property by deception 

Being found guilty of obtaining property by deception can have serious consequences beyond the immediate penalties imposed by the court. These may include:

  1. Criminal Record: A conviction for obtaining property by deception will result in a permanent criminal record, which can affect your ability to obtain employment, travel overseas, and apply for certain licenses or registrations.
  2. Impact on Relationships: A conviction for obtaining property by deception can have a significant impact on your relationships with family and friends.
  3. Financial Consequences: A conviction for obtaining property by deception may result in significant financial consequences, including the payment of fines, compensation to the victim, and legal costs.
  4. Loss of Freedom: A sentence of imprisonment will result in a loss of freedom and may have a significant impact on your personal and professional life.

Conclusion

Obtaining property by deception is a serious offence in Victoria, carrying significant penalties and consequences for those found guilty. It involves dishonestly obtaining property belonging to another person to permanently deprive the other person of it. The court process can be complex and lengthy, and if you are charged with obtaining property by deception offence, it is highly recommended to seek legal advice from a qualified professional to understand your rights and options.

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