Offence to Provide False or Misleading Information

The Offence of Provide False or Misleading Information is in section 84BI of the Road Safety Act 1986. It is a criminal offence to provide false or misleading information to the police as to the identity of the person who committed an offence in their vehicle.

Have you been accused of the Offence of Providing False or Misleading Information? Our lawyers are experienced criminal defence lawyers who can represent you in court.

Police Asking for Information
Police Interview

The police will interview you if they suspect you have committed the offence of Providing False or Misleading Information. Anything you tell police before, during or after the interview can be used by prosecutors against you in Court.

While you cannot avoid a police interview, you can and should seek advice from an experienced criminal lawyer before speaking to police. Your criminal lawyer will explain to you why you should say ‘no comment’ to protect your position, rather than trying to talk yourself out of the situation or being untruthful in your answers.

Alternatively, your lawyer will let you know whether, in your particular circumstances, it would be in your best interests to honestly answer all questions.

Pleading Not Guilty

You can set your matter down for a contested hearing in the Magistrates’ Court if you deny the allegation of Provide False or Misleading Information. One of our experienced defence lawyers can prepare a defence strategy for you to increase your chances of an acquittal or the charge being withdrawn by prosecutors.

If you are contesting the charge of Provide False or Misleading Information you should engage an experienced criminal lawyer at an early stage of proceedings. Your lawyer will be skilled at analysing the evidence and will provide you with expert legal advice about how to best prepare and successfully run your case.

Pleading Guilty

You may agree that you have committed Offence to Provide False or Misleading Information and you have decided to plead guilty to the charge at Court. Perhaps the offence happened on the spur of the moment, or there was a very good explanation for why you acted in the way that you did.

One of our experienced criminal lawyer will carefully listen to you to fully understand your story. Your lawyer will then thoroughly prepare your case with the appropriate supporting materials and assist you to achieve the best possible outcome.

Which court will the case be heard in?

The offence of providing false or misleading information is heard in the Magistrates’ Court.

What is the legal definition of the Offence to Provide False or Misleading Information?

The Prosecution must satisfy the Court that you provided information to an enforcement official knowing that the information was false or misleading. This offence can also be made out if the Prosecution can demonstrate that you failed to provide certain details resulting in the information being misleading.

Examples of the Offence to Provide False or Misleading Information
  • Providing Police with a fake name when asked about the identity of a person who committed a speeding offence in your car;
  • Giving Police a fake address of the person who had a collision in your car and left the scene;

This offence can be found in section 84(B)(i) of Road Safety Act 1986.

Elements of the offence

As with all criminal offences, the burden is on the Prosecution to prove the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt to make out this offence:

  1. The Accused gave a statement to an enforcement official in relation to the person responsible for committing an offence in their motor vehicle; and
  2. The Accused knowingly provided false or misleading information in that statement.
“Can the Prosecution prove your statement was false or misleading?”

If you are charged with an offence under section 84BI of the Road Safety Act 1986, the following defences may be available to you:

  • Factual dispute;
  • Lack of intent;
  • Honest and reasonable mistake as to a fact.
Questions in cases like this
  • Did you assist the Police?
  • Do you know the identity of the person who drove your vehicle?
  • Did you think the information you provided was accurate?

If you have been charged with this offence, you should call us to speak about your case with one of our experienced lawyers. Deciding on whether to plead guilty or not has important implications for you and should be made after proper discussions with a criminal lawyer.

Maximum penalty for section 84BI of the Road Safety Act 1986

If you are found guilty of the Offence to Provide False or Misleading Information (s84BI of the Road Safety Act 1986), you may receive a fine of up to 60 penalty units (around $9,600) in the case of an individual. This doubles in the case of a body corporate, which is a fine of up to 120 penalty units (around $19,400).


Sentencing in the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria

Sentencing Statistics Pie Chart for Provide False or Misleading Information in an Effective Statement to Avoid Liability for a Motor Vehicle Offence in the Magistrates' Court of Victoria Between 2018 and 2021

Other important resources