State False Address When Requested

– section 456AA(3)(c) of the Crimes Act 1958

This section is used to prosecute a person who provides a false address in response to a request made by a police officer who believes on reasonable grounds that the person has:

  1. Has committed or is about to commit an offence, whether indictable or summary; or
  2. May be able to assist in the investigation of an indictable offence which has been committed or is suspected of having been committed.
Providing a false address in the circumstances listed above is an offence pursuant to section 456AA(3)(c) of the Crimes Act 1958.
Police in a bicycle helmet writing on a notepad outside a building
This offence is heard at the Magistrates’ Courts.
 
What is the legal definition of State False Address When Requested?
The Police officer requesting your address must inform you of the grounds for his or her belief in sufficient detail so that you understand the nature of the offence you are alleged to have committed or suspected of committing.

If a Police officer asks you to provide your address, you may ask them for their rank and Victoria Police number (badge number).

Examples of State False Address When Requested
  • Deliberately giving a Police officer a false address when questioned about committing an indictable offence such as theft or assault.
  • Deliberately giving a Police officer a false address when questioned about committing a summary offence such as a trespass or wilful damage of property.
  • Deliberately giving Police a false address when being bailed by Police after being charged with a criminal offence.
Elements of the offence
The prosecution must prove:

  1. The accused was asked to provide address in reasonable circumstances; and
  2. The accused provided a false address.
Legislation
The legislation for this offence can be found on section 456AA(3)(c) of the Crimes Act 1958.
 
What are some of the possible defences to State False Address When Requested?
If you have been charged with providing Police a false address, you may rely on one of the following defences:

  1. Honest and reasonable mistake as to fact;
  2. Lack of intent; or
  3. There is insufficient evidence to prove the case beyond reasonable doubt.
The circumstances of the case must be carefully considered to decide an appropriate defence.

Questions in cases like this
  • Did the person who asked for your address identify themselves as a Police officer?
  • Did the Police officer who asked for your address explain why they were requesting your address?
  • Did you deliberately provide a false address?

This offence carries a fine of 5 penalty units (around $700) as the highest possible sentence.
 
Sentencing in the Magistrates’ Courts
In the Magistrates’ Courts, 380 cases (395 charges) of the exact charge of State False Address When Requested were heard in a period of years from 1 July 2013 to 30 June 2016. These cases resulted in the following sentences:

  • Fine – 24.7%
  • Adjourned Undertaking/Discharge/Dismissal – 9.7%
  • Partially Suspended Sentence – 3.7%
  • Wholly Suspended Sentence – 3.7%
  • Youth Justice Centre Order – 0.8%
  • Other – 0.8%