Falsification of documents

It is an offence in Victoria to Falsify Documents. This offence is in section 83A of the Crimes Act 1958 and is a criminal offence that is committed by a person who knowingly made and used a false document. The police must prove that you intended to use the document to get someone to accept the document as genuine.

Have you been accused of Falsification of Documents? Do not delay getting in contact with one of our experienced criminal defence lawyers. It is important that you receive legal advice before speaking with the police. Anything you tell the police over the phone or in person can be used against you and will most likely appear in the police brief.

Police Interview

It is highly recommended that you speak with a lawyer before attending the police station for an interview. At Doogue + George Defence Lawyers, we will listen to your case and will advise you of all the things you need to know about the police interview. For example, you may wonder:

  • Will I look guilty if I don’t answer the questions?
  • Will the police leave me alone if I explain my side of the story?
  • Do I need to give them access to my electronic devices?

Knowing how to handle the police investigation process is important to protecting your interests.

You may also decide to have one of our lawyers attend the police interview with you. It is always helpful to have someone there looking after your interests.

Pleading Not Guilty

If you have been charged with Falsification of Documents and you deny the allegation, the next step is to prepare to defend your case in Court. At Doogue + George Defence Lawyers, we will review the evidence compiled by police to advise you on your best strategy for defending the charge of Falsification of Documents. This may include obtaining an expert report, seeking disclosure from police and searching material that sheds a different light on your case, which the police may have over-looked.

Pleading Guilty

Making the decision to plead guilty to a charge of Falsification of Documents is not the end of the road. The next step is the convince the Magistrate or Judge that they should impose the lowest possible penalty available to you. At Doogue + George Defence Lawyers we have experience in addressing the sentencing factors a Court is required to consider when determining a penalty. We can provide you with advice on how best to address those factors, such as engaging with a psychologist to obtain a report, seeking drug or alcohol counselling, gathering character references that are suitable for the Court purpose. Simply turning up on the day of your plea, is not going to get you the desired outcome. Preparation is key.

Sentencing

Sentencing in the higher courts of VictoriaSentencing Statistics Pie Chart for Make a False Document to Prejudice of Other in the Higher Courts of Victoria Between 2016 and 2021Sentencing in the Magistrates’ Courts of VictoriaSentencing Statistics Pie Chart for Make a False Document to Prejudice of Other in the Magistrates' Court of Victoria Between 2018 and 2021

Examples of Falsification of Documents
  • A 16 year old girl makes a false ID to get into over 18 clubs.
  • A man has a machine that makes fake passports.
  • A woman makes a fake bank statement to get a loan.
Defences
  • No documents were forged.
  • There was no knowledge that the documents were false.
  • No damage was caused by any false documents.

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 forge any documents?
  • Can they prove that you forged documents?
  • Was anyone affected by the false documents?
Maximum penalty and court that deals with this charge

The maximum penalty for Falsification of Documents (s83A of the Crimes Act 1958) is level 5 imprisonment (10 years).

This is a strictly indictable charge which means that your case must be heard in the County Court.

Legislation

The section that covers this offence is section 83A of the Crimes Act 1958.

What is the legal definition of Falsification of Documents?

To prove this charge, the Prosecution must show that you intentionally made or used or had a document which was false. And that false document was relied on by someone else to their disadvantage. Or you intentionally used a false document to induce someone else to do or not do something to their disadvantage. Or you had possession of a machine designed or adapted for the intention of making a false document.

Other Important Resources
Case Studies