Dishonestly Cause a Loss
Sentencing in the higher courtsPlease note that suspended sentences were abolished in the higher courts earlier than that of the Magistrates’ Court, and therefore all offences committed on or after 1 September 2013 will not have this available as a sentencing option.1
 Sentencing Advisory Council. Abolished Sentencing Orders, accessed January 29, 2021, https://www.sentencingcouncil.vic.gov.au/about-sentencing/abolished-sentencing-orders.
Examples of Dishonestly Cause a Loss
- A woman working for the Commonwealth Department of Defence leaks important intelligence documents to the media which then become public
- A former Minister for a Commonwealth Department uses funds from the Department for his political campaign
What is the legal definition of Dishonestly Cause a Loss?Intentionally and dishonestly causing a loss, or a risk of loss, to a Commonwealth entity.
“Have you been charged with a Commonwealth dishonesty offence?”
LegislationThe section that covers this offence is section 135.1 of the Criminal Code Act 1995.
Elements of the offenceA person may be found guilty of this offence if the prosecution is able to establish the following elements in court beyond reasonable doubt:
- The accused performed an act with the intention of dishonestly causing a loss to another person.
- The other person is a Commonwealth entity.
- You did not cause a loss or a risk of loss
- There was no loss or risk of loss
Questions in cases like this
- Was there a loss to a Commonwealth organisation?
- Was there a risk of loss?
The maximum penalty for the offence of (s135.1(3) of the Criminal Code Act 1995) is imprisonment for 5 years.