Diversion for Falsification of Documents

This is a case study on a charge of Falsification of Documents resulting in a diversion sentence.

What is alleged to have occured?
Our client is a 26-year old qualified engineer who was charged with Falsification of Documents. This charge was made out when the documents he allegedly falsified had been provided to a third party, and whereby a reliance on that document would be a detriment to the third party. Our client had been living with a friend in rented accommodation. Their relationship went sour and our client decided that he should move out of the premises. Both parties had paid the initial bond to obtain the rental.

It was agreed between them that the female friend would remain at the address and, once the lease had ended and she was to move out, she would reimburse our client his portion of the rent. The property agent was contacted and was advised that our client would be moving out and that the property would remain occupied by the female friend. The property agent forwarded a notice that needed to be signed and which has to be provided to the Residential Tenancies Bond Authority as evidence that our client was no longer living there. To be clear, it was not a document which, once completed, would see the return of any funds. It was simply a document stating that our client was no longer a tenant at the address.

Once our client moved out of the property, there was difficulty communicating with the female friend. The property agent contacted our client indicating that the form had not been received and was overdue. Our client filled out the form and signed the female friend’s signature on the form. He then submitted it to the property agent for the purpose of it being provided to the Residential Tenancies Bond Authority. The issue in the case was that the Residential Tenancies Bond Authority accepted the document as true however the offence was that the document had been fraudulently signed.

What happened at court?
The informant in the matter was contacted for consideration of a diversion referral. The goal was to obtain a diversion for Falsification of Documents. Our client was a qualified engineer employed in a nation-wide firm and also working on government-tendered projects. Any form of finding of guilt or conviction would have been a severe detriment to his employment. The informant was satisfied with the material that our solicitors submitted in support of the request for the diversion referral and, as a result, provided us with a diversion notice.

What was the result?
The matter proceeded before the court as a diversion hearing. The magistrate was advised of the detriment our client would face if a conviction or a finding of guilt was to be recorded. The way in which the offending arose was also explained in great detail. Thankfully, the magistrate agreed with the submissions put forward and granted the diversion. This means that our client will have no criminal record for the lapse of judgment he made whilst trying to end a chapter of his life and move on. There will also be no effect on his employment prospects.

Dee Giannopoulosdee-giannopoulos-profile

Dee is based in our Melbourne office and appears at all Courts in Victoria. Dee’s commitment to her clients and her passion for justice drives her to achieve great results.

View Dee Giannopoulos’ profile.

DISCLAIMER: This is a real case study of an actual case from our files. Details pertaining to the client have been changed to protect their privacy. The sentence imposed and the charge have not been altered. These case studies are published to demonstrate real outcomes and give an indication of possible tariffs in Court. We do not guarantee a similar case on these charges will get the same result. Please note that we post results at our discretion, therefore while many case studies are average results, others are notable for their exceptional outcomes. PUBLISHED 29/07/2016