False statements

False statements

It is an offence under section 247 of the Crimes Act 1958 to make a False Statement. It is a criminal offence that is committed by a person who made a false statement causing one to think that there is a plan to do damage or violence to people. It is a complex section that covers a lot of possible situations.

Have you been accused of making a False Statement?

Police Interview
The best thing you can do for your case is to arm yourself with information about your rights and obligations before attending a police interview in relation to a an allegation of making False Statements. Understanding the process by talking to one of our lawyers can only help you improve your situation and feel as comfortable as possible during the interview.

Call our office for initial advice and ask about a lawyer attending the interview with you.

Pleading Not Guilty
Pleading not guilty to a charge of making a False Statement means you are contesting the charge against you. If you deny that you committed the offence then in most cases, you will be pleading not guilty before the Court. Sometimes a decision to plead not guilty is black and white, you either did or did not make a false statement. Other times, advice from your lawyer might raise legal issues that you were not aware of or had not considered.

To ensure you are armed with everything you need to defend your case, it is essential that you consult a lawyer. At Doogue + George Defence Lawyers, we will carefully consider the evidence compiled by police, obtain detailed instructions from you and provide you with advice about your best strategy to defend a charge of making false statement.

Pleading Guilty
It is essential that you get advice from a lawyer before making the decision to plead guilty to a charge of making False Statement. At Doogue + George Defence Lawyers, we will review the evidence against you and ensure that the charge of making False Statement is the appropriate charge, that all the elements of the offence are made out and no defences are available to you.

Then we will assist you to obtain character references and take detailed instructions from you about your personal history and the circumstances that lead to the offending. We will prepare a plea to present to the Magistrate to ensure you receive the lowest possible penalty available to you.
This charge would be heard either in the Magistrates’ Court or the County Court.
 
Examples of False Statements
  • A construction company make a false statement to the Council about the state of a building. The company destroy the building.
What is the legal definition of False Statements?
The Prosecution must show that you made an intentionally false statement. And there was a plan or proposal to take control of a building, aircraft, car, boat, engine or train. Or a plan to damage a building, aircraft, car, boat, engine or train. Or a plan to kill or injure someone in a building, aircraft, car, boat, engine or train.

Legislation
The section that covers this offence is section 247 of the Crimes Act 1958.

Elements of the offence
The prosecution must prove the following elements in order for an accused to be found guilty of False Statements:

  1. The accused made a statement or conveyed information.
  2. The statement or information has the effect, or from which it could reasonably be inferred, that there has been or is to be a plan, proposal, attempt, conspiracy or threat to—
    • take or exercise control by force or violence of any building (including any structure in the nature of a building or any bridge or mine) aircraft, vessel, motor vehicle or engine or carriage used upon a railway;
    • destroy, damage or endanger the safety thereof; or
    • kill or injure all or any of the persons therein or thereon.
  3. The accused knew that the statement or information was false.
“Did you lie to someone?”

  • No false statement was made.
  • There was no knowledge that information was false when the statement was made.
  • There was no damage caused by the false statement.
There are other possible defences, depending on the circumstances surrounding the alleged offending. Each matter is unique and requires an individual approach and strategy.

Questions in cases like this
  • Did you lie to someone so that a building or vehicle could be damaged or destroyed?
  • Can they prove that you made a false statement?
  • Can they prove there was damage caused as a result of your false statement?

The maximum penalty for False Statements (s247 of the Crimes Act 1958) is level 6 imprisonment (5 years).

What can you be sentenced to for this charge?
False statements is an offence that is rarely seen in the Courts but could carry a prison term if you are found guilty.

This is an indictable offence but it will generally be heard summarily in the Magistrates’ Court.