Offence to Provide False or Misleading Information
– section 84BI of the Road Safety Act 1986
A person may be charged with providing false or misleading information under section 84BI of the Road Safety Act 1986 if they provide a false or misleading statement to Police as to the identity of a person responsible for an offence committed in a motor vehicle registered to them.
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;
LegislationThis offence can be found in section 84(B)(i) of Road Safety Act 1986.
Elements of the offenceAs with all criminal offences, the burden is on the Prosecution to prove the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt to make out this offence:
- The Accused gave a statement to an enforcement official in relation to the person responsible for committing an offence in their motor vehicle; and
- 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 are found guilty of this offence, 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’ CourtsFrom 1 July 2013 to 30 June 2016, a total of 19 cases (43 charges) of the Offence to Provide False or Misleading Information have been heard at the Magistrates’ Courts of Victoria. Most of these cases resulted in financial penalties (57.9%) but there were also other sentencing options imposed:
- Community Correction Order – 15.8%
- Adjourned Undertaking/Discharge/Dismissal – 10.5%
- Imprisonment – 5.3%
- Partially Suspended Sentence – 5.3%
- Wholly Suspended Sentence – 5.3%
Please note that suspended sentences were abolished in Victoria for all offences committed on or after 1 September 2014.2
 SAC Statistics – Road Safety Act 1986 (Vic) : s 84BI – provide false or misleading information < https://www.sentencingcouncil.vic.gov.au/sacstat/magistrates_court/86_127_84BI.html >
 Suspended Sentence | The Sentencing Advisory Council < https://www.sentencingcouncil.vic.gov.au/about-sentencing/sentencing-options-for-adults/suspended-sentence >