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Obtain property by deception (Fraud)

There is not a criminal offence of fraud, but there are a number of offences that involve fraudulent behaviour, and Obtaining Property by Deception is one of those offences. If you have been charged with Obtaining Property by Deception, here is some information to know and consider in seeking legal advice with Emma Turnbull Lawyers.

Elements of the offence

For the prosecution to prove the offence of Obtaining Property by Deception, they must prove beyond a reasonable doubt all of the elements of the offence set out in s 81 of the Crimes Act 1958 (Vic) which are as follows:

  1. The accused obtained property belonging to another person; and
  2. The accused did so with the intention of permanently depriving the other of the property; and
  3. The accused used deceit to obtain the property; and
  4. The accused obtained the property dishonestly.

Will I have to go to court?

Charges for Obtaining Property by Deception are often dealt with summarily in the Magistrates’ Court. However, depending on the circumstances of the offence and any other charges laid, the case may be heard in a higher court.  Expert legal advice is important in ensuring the most appropriate defence to a charge of Obtaining Property by Deception.

Once the case goes to court, it is up to the prosecution to prove all the elements of the offence. It is important that you seek expert legal advice to prepare a defence and to represent you in court as this offence carries a significant maximum sentence of imprisonment.

Maximum penalty:

The maximum penalty this offence carries is 2 years imprisonment if it is dealt with in the Magistrates’ Court, but 10 years imprisonment if dealt with in the County or Supreme Court.

What sentences are usually given?

Between 1 July 2016 to 30 June 2021, 68 people were sentenced for Obtain Property by Deception in the higher courts, with 45 (66%) sentence to imprisonment, where 21 of those were sentenced to 5 years or more imprisonment.

Between 1 July 2018 to 30 June 2021 the Magistrates Court dealt with 5,628 cases and imprisonment was imposed in 46% of cases, and a community corrections order in 23% of cases.

What do I do now?

To ensure the best chance of a successful defence, it is important to get in contact with an expert criminal lawyer as soon as possible. At Emma Turnbull Lawyers, we have experienced criminal defence lawyers who can assist you in defending this charge.

Contact our office today to speak to an accredited criminal law specialist, on (03) 9077 4834 or at