Have you been charged with the Offence of Theft?
Theft is a serious charge than can carry large penalties if proven, including imprisonment. It is important to consider whether the prosecution can prove all elements of the offence, and if there are any factors which may aid your defence.
Did you take the property without the owner’s consent or do anything to interfere with their use of the property? Can the object in question be defined as property? Could the property be clearly identified as belonging to another person? Did you intend to deprive the owner of the property permanently? Did you have any legal claim to the property?
These are just some of the questions you should consider before telling a court how you intend to plead to this charge. Seek expert legal advice and representation as soon as possible.
Please read below for more information on this charge.
Section 74 of the Crimes Act 1958
The prosecution must prove:
the defendant appropriated property belonging to another;
the defendant did so with the intention of permanently depriving the other of the property; and
the defendant acted dishonestly (Crimes Act 1958 s72).
The maximum penalty
Level 5 imprisonment being 10 years maximum.
Where will my case be heard?
A charge of Theft will most likely be dealt with in the Magistrates’ Court. However depending on the circumstances of the charge, such as if the value of the property exceeds $100,000 or the property was a motor vehicle, the charge can be heard in the County or Supreme Court.
What to do next?
Theft is a serious charge which can result in imprisonment. However, you may have defences to the charge. Contact us as soon as possible, so one of our experienced criminal lawyers can begin preparing your matter.
(1) A person guilty of theft is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to level 5 imprisonment (10 years maximum).
(2) Section 80A applies as if the reference in that section to sections 81–87 (both inclusive) were a reference to this section.