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Fraud, Stealing & Theft Lawyer Perth

Generally, charges involving dishonesty are considered serious and can carry considerable penalties. This is particularly the case where the conduct was planned out, sophisticated and resulted in a significant benefit to you and significant detriment to the person deceived.

You can contact one of our specialist criminal lawyers on (08) 9500 8915 to book an initial consult so that we can advise you on your particular case.

What is fraud?

Fraud occurs when you use deceit or any fraudulent means to:

  1. Obtain property;
  2. Induce another to deliver property;
  3. Gain a benefit;
  4. Cause a detriment to someone else;
  5. Induce someone to do an act which they are otherwise lawfully entitled to not do; or
  6. Induce someone to not do an act which they are lawfully entitled to do.

The most common types of fraud can include things such as:

  • Using someone else’s bank card when not entitled to do so;
  • Obtaining credit cards by using false details;
  • Making false claims for insurance in order to receive money.

What is the penalty for fraud?

These types of charges can be dealt with either in the Magistrates Court or District Court depending on the value of the property obtained or the amount of the benefit. If you are charged with obtaining more than $10,000 by fraudulent means, then the charges must be dealt with in the District Court.

The maximum penalty for these charges, in the District Court, is 7 years imprisonment.

If dealt with in the Magistrates Court, the maximum penalty is 2 years imprisonment and a fine of $24,000. If, however, the person deceived was 60 years old and over then the penalty is higher.

If you are convicted of fraud, it is common for an order to be made by the court for you to repay the money or return the property that is the subject of the charge.

What is stealing?

Stealing or theft occurs when you fraudulently take something and convert it for your own use.

If you take someone else’s property, you are considered to take it fraudulently if it is your intention to:

  1. Permanently deprive the owner of it;
  2. Use it as a pledge or security;
  3. Convert the property so it is unable to be used for the same purpose when you return it; or
  4. Deal with in in such a way that it cannot be returned in the same condition as it was when it was taken.

Penalties for stealing

Stealing charges can be dealt with either in the Magistrates Court or District Court depending on the value of the thing or property alleged to have been stolen.

In the District Court, the maximum penalty is 7 years imprisonment.

If the value of the thing or property stolen does not exceed $10,000, then the maximum penalty in the Magistrates Court is 2 years imprisonment and a fine of $24,000.

If the value of the thing or property stolen does not exceed $1,000, the maximum penalty in the Magistrates Court is a fine of $6,000.

Different penalties apply if the property stolen was a car or motor vehicle.

If you are convicted of stealing, it is common for an order to be made by the court for you to repay the money or return the property that is the subject of the charge.

Stealing as a servant

You may be charged with stealing as a servant if it is alleged that you stole from your employer or as a result of your employment.

This charge is considered very serious as it involved a breach of trust.

The maximum penalty for stealing as a servant is 10 years imprisonment.

Possession of stolen or unlawfully obtained property

If you are in possession of property that is reasonably suspected to be stolen or unlawfully obtained, you may be charged with this offence.

The penalties for this depend on the type of property and can range from a fine to imprisonment.

It is a defence to prove that you had no reasonable grounds for suspecting that the property was stolen or unlawfully obtained.

This charge is commonly used when an accused is found to be in possession of a large amount of cash and in possession of drugs. It is usually alleged that the cash is proceeds of drug dealing and therefore unlawfully obtained.

If you've been charged with any of the above contact Chambers Legal today on (08) 9500 8915 to book in a consultation where we can assess your situation and advise you what the best course of action is.

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