Theft of Motor Vehicle and Commit Indictable Offence Whilst on Bail

Our client was charged with two counts each of Theft of Motor Vehicle and Commit Indictable Offence Whilst on Bail. These are very serious offences which often carry terms of imprisonment. The aggravating features of the motor vehicle thefts were that:

  1. They were committed whilst on bail
  2. There were two separate incidents
  3. One of the cars was never recovered
  4. The other car was recovered but damaged

Our client was battling a serious meth addiction at the time and was remanded shortly after the second motor vehicle theft. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to a 12-month Community Corrections Order with 150 work hours (50 hours of treatment) and a 12-month licence disqualification. We represented him at the Melbourne County Court.

The matter proceeded as an appeal against sentence for the charges of Theft of Motor Vehicle and Commit Indictable Offence Whilst on Bail. We assisted the client to lodge an appeal and collaborated with another lawyer from our firm to prepare for the appeal.

We appeared on the appeal and highlighted the following:

  1. The client had no prior criminal history despite experiencing a very disadvantaged upbringing
  2. He had remained abstinent from meth since being released
  3. He was living with his new girlfriend’s family, who were providing him with a positive support environment
  4. He had pleaded guilty at the first opportunity
  5. He was a qualified mechanic and hoped to work as a mechanic in the future
  6. He had recently obtained paid employment
  7. He lived in rural Victoria and his licence was essential for driving to work and attending counselling appointments

His Honour set aside the Community Corrections Order and 12-month disqualification for Theft of Motor Vehicle and Commit Indictable Offence Whilst. Instead, a fine was imposed along with a 3-month disqualification. This was a great outcome for our client, as it meant that he could apply to get his licence back the following week (it had been nearly three months since his licence was cancelled).

The client also did not need to do 150 work hours on a CCO on top of his paid work. A good lawyer will always be willing to fight for a client and to appeal a sentence if it is excessive. Our client was grateful that we fought hard for him.
Elements of Theft:

  • The accused appropriated property belonging to another
  • The accused did so with the intention of permanently depriving the other of the property
  • The accused acted dishonestly

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 05/06/2019