Property and Dishonesty Offences, WA

Trespass

  • Property damage, property fraud, and trespass are all considered criminal offences.
  • Trespass is a property offence under section 70A of the Criminal Code 1913 (WA).
  • Trespass is a strictly summary offence, heard and concluded in the Magistrates Court.
  • The maximum penalty for trespass is 1 year imprisonment or a fine of $12,000.00.
  • If pleading guilty or found guilty, various sentences can be imposed.
  • A criminal conviction is likely to be recorded in such cases.

Seeking advice and representation from our team of experienced criminal lawyers is highly recommended.

If you have been charged with the property offence of trespass, the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that:

  1. You are the person alleged to have committed the offence
  2. You trespassed on a place
  3. You trespassed without lawful excuse

What does trespass mean?

‘Trespass’ means:

  1. to enter or be in the place without the consent of the owner, occupier or person having control or management of the place;
  2. to remain in the place after being request to leave by the person in authority;
  3. to remain in a part of the place after being requested by a person in authority to leave that part of the place.

Who is a “person in authority”?

A ‘person in authority’ means:

  1. in a place owned by the Crown, the occupier or person having control of the place or a Police officer;
  2. Owner, occupier or person having control or management of the place;
  3. Police officer acting on the request of the above person.

Should I plead guilty or not guilty?

This will depend on a number of factors including, for example:

  • whether you accept that you are the person alleged to trespass
  • whether you did in fact trespass
  • whether you had consent at that place by a person of authority
  • whether you had a lawful excuse for trespassing

You may accept that you committed an offence but:

  • you may disagree with part of what police say happened. In these circumstances, your lawyer may be able to negotiate with the prosecutor to change the statement of material facts.

Am I going to go to gaol?

Though imprisonment is not a likely outcome for a property offence of trespass, and there are many sentencing alternatives, it is possible that you will go to gaol if you plead guilty or are found guilty.

The maximum penalty for trespass is 1 year imprisonment, however the type of sentence you receive will depend on the facts of your case, your personal circumstances, criminal history and many other factors.

It is important that a lawyer properly prepares and presents your case to minimise the risk of you going to gaol.

Robbery

  • Robbery is a Schedule II offence under section 392 of the Criminal Code 1913 (WA). Robbery is distinct from property offences such as property damage, property fraud, and other property offences, which are also serious criminal offences under the law.
  • This offence is strictly indictable. It must be finalised in the District Court but still commences in the Magistrates’ Court. The maximum penalty is 14 years imprisonment.
  • If you plead guilty or are found guilty, a number of different sentences can be imposed. A criminal conviction is likely to be recorded.
  • If you are found guilty, or plead guilty, to being armed with an offensive weapon or instrument immediately before or at or after the time of the offence the maximum penalty is life imprisonment.

If you have been charged with robbery, the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that:

  1. That you were the person alleged to have committed the criminal offence
  2. That you stole a thing
  3. That the thing stolen was the property of some other person
  4. At the time of or immediately before or after the stealing, you used or threated to use violence in order to
    1. Obtain the thing stolen; or
    2. To prevent or overcome resistance to its being stolen.

What is “stealing”?

Stealing occurs if a person takes anything capable of being stolen or converts any property with the intent to permanently deprive the owner of that thing or property and actually moves or deals with it by some physical act.

Should I plead guilty or not guilty?

This will depend on a number of factors including, for example:

  • whether you accept that you are the person alleged to have committed the offence
  • whether stole a thing
  • whether the property was of some other person or you had an honest claim of right
  • whether you used or threatened to use violence
  • whether you used or threatened to use violence to obtain the thing stolen or prevent resistance to it being stolen.

You may accept that you committed an offence but:

  • your lawyer may be able to persuade the prosecutor to accept a plea of guilty to a less serious charge such as stealing or assault causing bodily harm.
  • you may disagree with part of what police say happened. In these circumstances, your lawyer may be able to negotiate with the prosecutor to change the statement of material facts.

Am I going to go to gaol?

Although there are many sentencing alternatives, it is very likely that you will go to gaol if you plead guilty or are found guilty. You will need to acquire a specialist lawyer to have in your corner.

The maximum penalty for robbery is 14 years imprisonment, however the type of sentence you receive will depend on the facts of your case, your personal circumstances, criminal history and many other factors.

It is important that a lawyer properly prepares and presents your case to minimise the risk of you going to gaol, or to persuade the court to reduce the length of the gaol sentence.

Stealing

  • Stealing is an offence under section 378 of the Criminal Code 1913 (WA). If the property offence involves stealing a motor vehicle, it is a Schedule II offence.
  • It can be dealt with in either the Magistrates Court or the District Court. The maximum penalty is 7 years imprisonment. However, if dealt with in the Magistrates Court the maximum penalty is 2 years imprisonment and/or a fine of $24,000 if the value of the property does not exceed $50,000. If the value of the property does not exceed $1,000 the maximum penalty in the Magistrates Court is a fine of $6,000.
  • If you plead guilty, or are found guilty, a number of different sentences can be imposed. It is likely that a criminal conviction will be recorded.

If you have been charged with a property offence of stealing, the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that:

  1. You are the person alleged to have committed the offence
  2. That the property belonged to someone else
  3. That you took the property or converted it to your own or another person’s own use
  4. That when you took the property you did so with the fraudulent intention to permanently deprive the owner of the property or any part of it

What is “stealing”?

‘Stealing’ occurs  if  a  person  takes  anything  capable  of  being stolen  or  converts  any  property  with  intent  to  permanently deprive  owner  of  thing  or  property  and  actually  moves  or deals with it by some physical act.

Should I plead guilty or not guilty?

This will depend on a number of factors including, for example:

  • whether you accept that you are the person alleged to have committed the offence
  • whether you took property belonging to someone else
  • whether you intended to permanently deprive the owner of the property
  • whether you took the property for your or someone else’s personal use
  • whether you were acting under an honest and reasonable mistake

You may accept that you committed the offence of stealing but:

  • your lawyer may be able to persuade the prosecutor to accept a plea of guilty on the agreement that the matter be dealt with in the Magistrates Court.
  • you may disagree with part of what police say happened. In these circumstances, your lawyer may be able to negotiate with the prosecutor to change the statement of material facts.

Am I going to go to gaol?

Though imprisonment is not a likely outcome for an offence of stealing, and there are many sentencing alternatives, it is possible that you will go to gaol if you plead guilty or are found guilty.

The maximum penalty for stealing is 7 years imprisonment, however the type of sentence you receive will depend on the facts of your case, your personal circumstances, criminal history and many other factors.

It is important to engage a comprehensive and honest lawyer and that your lawyer properly prepares and presents your case to minimise the risk of you going to gaol.

Assault with intent to rob

  • Assault with intent to rob is an offence under section 393 of the Criminal Code 1913 (WA). This offence is a Schedule II offence.
  • This offence is a strictly indictable property offence. It must be finalised in the District Court, but still commences in the Magistrates Court. The maximum penalty is 14 years imprisonment.
  • If you are found guilty, or plead guilty to being armed with an offensive weapon or instrument immediately before or at or after the time of the offence and the offence is committed in circumstances of aggravation, the maximum penalty is life imprisonment. It’s essential to employ a specialist criminal lawyer for this reason.
  • If you plead guilty, or are found guilty, although there are many sentencing alternatives, it is very likely that you will go to gaol if you plead guilty or are found guilty.

If you have been charged with assault with intent to rob, the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that:

  1. You are the accused or an accomplice alleged in the property offence
  2. That you stole something or attempted to steal something
  3. That you used or threated to use actual violence
  4. That the violence was used/threatened to obtain the thing stole or prevent/overcome resistance to the thing being stolen

What is assault with the intent to rob?

A person who, with the intention of stealing, employs or threatens violence against any person or property, either to procure the intended stolen item or to thwart resistance to its theft, is deemed culpable of a criminal offense and subject to liability.

What is stealing?

‘Stealing’  occurs  if  a  person  takes  anything  capable  of  being stolen  or  converts  any  property  with  intent  to  permanently deprive  owner  of  thing  or  property  and  actually  moves  or deals with it by some physical act.

Should I plead guilty or not guilty?

This will depend on a number of factors including, for example:

  • whether you accept that you are the person alleged to have committed the offence
  • whether you stole a thing
  • whether the property was of some other person or you had an honest claim of right
  • whether you used or threatened to use violence
  • whether you used or threatened to use violence to obtain the thing stolen or prevent resistance to it being stolen.

You may accept that you committed an offence but:

  • your lawyer may be able to persuade the prosecutor to accept a plea of guilty to a less serious charge such as stealing or assault causing bodily harm.
  • you may disagree with part of what police say happened. In these circumstances, your lawyer may be able to negotiate with the prosecutor to change the statement of material facts.

Am I going to go to gaol?

Although there are many sentencing alternatives, it is very likely that you will go to gaol if you plead guilty or are found guilty.

The maximum penalty for assault with intent to rob is life imprisonment, however the type of sentence you receive will depend on the facts of your case, your personal circumstances, criminal history and many other factors.

It is important that a lawyer properly prepares and presents your case to minimise the risk of you going to gaol, or to persuade the court to reduce the length of the gaol sentence.

Fraud

  • Property Fraud is an offence under section 409 of the Criminal Code 1913 (WA). This offence is a Schedule II offence.
  • It can be dealt with in either the Magistrates Court or the District Court. The maximum penalty is 10 years imprisonment, however if dealt with in the Magistrates Court the maximum penalty is 3 years imprisonment.
  • If you plead guilty, or are found guilty, a number of different sentences can be imposed. It is likely that a criminal conviction will be recorded.

If you have been charged with property fraud, the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that:

  1. That you are the person or an accomplice of the alleged property offence
  2. That you obtained property / induced any person to deliver property to another person / gained a benefit, pecuniary or otherwise, for any person / caused a detriment, pecuniary or otherwise, to any person / induced any person to do any act that the person is lawfully entitled to abstain from doing / induced any person to abstain from doing any act that the person is lawfully entitled to do
  3. That you did so with an intent to defraud
  4. That you did so by deceit or any fraudulent means

What does “defraud” mean?

To defraud is to deprive a person of something (including money, property or some lawful right, interest, opportunity or advantage) that has actual or potential economic value by dishonest means.

What is “deceit”?

‘Deceit’ means ‘to induce a [person] to believe that a thing is true which is false, and which the person practising the deceit knows or believes to be false.

What are “Any fraudulent means”?

This encompasses other conduct falling outside the scope of ‘deceit’. It encompasses all other means which can properly be stigmatised as dishonest. It includes the active concealment of the true state of affairs.

Should I plead guilty or not guilty?

This will depend on a number of factors including, for example:

  • whether you accept that you are the person alleged to have committed the offence
  • whether you obtained property, gained a benefit or induce a person to do an act
  • whether you intended to defraud
  • whether you used deceitful or fraudulent means

You may accept that you committed fraud but:

  • your lawyer may be able to persuade the prosecutor to accept a plea of guilty on the agreement that the matter be dealt with in the Magistrates Court.
  • you may disagree with part of what police say happened. In these circumstances, your lawyer may be able to negotiate with the prosecutor to change the statement of material facts.

Am I going to go to gaol?

Although there are many sentencing alternatives, it is possible that you will go to gaol if you plead guilty or are found guilty.

The maximum penalty for fraud is 10 years imprisonment, however the type of sentence you receive will depend on the facts of your case, your personal circumstances, criminal history and many other factors. Your specialist lawyer will be able to provide more advice.

It is important that a lawyer properly prepares and presents your case to minimise the risk of you going to gaol.

Criminal Damage

  • Criminal damage is an offence under section 444 of the Criminal Code 1913 (WA). This offence is a Schedule II property damage offence if the property is destroyed or damaged by fire.
  • It can be dealt with in either the Magistrates Court or the District Court. The maximum penalty is life imprisonment if it is criminal damage by fire. However, if the criminal damage is not by fire the maximum penalty is 14 years. If the matter is dealt with in the Magistrates Court the maximum penalty is 3 years imprisonment and a fine of $36,000.
  • If you plead guilty, or are found guilty, a number of different sentences can be imposed. It is likely that a criminal conviction will be recorded.

If you have been charged with criminal damage, the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that:

  1. That you are the accused or you were an accomplice of the property damage criminal offence
  2. That you destroyed or damaged the property
  3. That you did so wilfully
  4. That you did so unlawfully.

What does “wilfully” mean?

Where a person does an act or omits to do an act intending to destroy or damage property or knowing or believing that the act or omission is likely to result in destruction or damage of the property.

What does “likely” mean for this offence?

‘Likely’ means probable and not possible. It means the outcome is more likely than not or more than a 50% chance.

Should I plead guilty or not guilty?

This will depend on a number of factors including, for example:

  • whether you accept that you are the person alleged to have committed the offence
  • whether property was damaged or destroyed
  • whether you wilfully destroyed/damaged property
  • whether you were acting lawfully

You may accept that you committed criminal property damage but:

  • your lawyer may be able to persuade the prosecutor to accept a plea of guilty to a less serious charge such as damaging property.
  • you may disagree with part of what police say happened. In these circumstances, your lawyer may be able to negotiate with the prosecutor to change the statement of material facts.

Am I going to go to gaol?

Criminal law is a complex domain with a myriad of charges and offences falling under its purview. Each charge presents unique complexities and sensitivities that require careful consideration. Although there are many sentencing alternatives, it is possible that you will go to gaol if you plead guilty or are found guilty.

The maximum penalty for criminal damage is 14 years imprisonment, however, the type of sentence you receive will depend on the facts of your case, your personal circumstances, criminal history and many other factors.

It is important that a lawyer properly prepares and presents your property damage case to minimise the risk of you going to gaol.

Receiving Stolen Property

  • Receiving stolen property is an offence under section 414 of the Criminal Code 1913 (WA).
  • It can be dealt with in either the Magistrates Court or the District Court. The maximum penalty is 14 years imprisonment. However, if dealt with in the Magistrates Court the maximum penalty is 2 years imprisonment and a fine of $24,000 if the value of the property does not exceed $50,000. If the value of the property does not exceed $1,000 the maximum penalty in the Magistrates Court is a fine of $6,000.
  • If you plead guilty, or are found guilty, a number of different sentences can be imposed. It is likely that a criminal conviction will be recorded.

If you have been charged with receiving stolen property, the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that:

  1. The you are the person accused or an accomplice
  2. That you have received the property
  3. That the property belonged to another person
  4. That the thing received was stolen or obtained by unlawful means
  5. That you knew the thing was stolen
  6. That you had an unlawful intent

What is “receiving”?

For the purpose of proving the receiving of anything, it is sufficient to show that the accused person has either alone or jointly with some other person, had the thing in their possession, or has aided in concealing it or disposing of it.

What does “possession” mean?

Possession includes having under control in any manner whatever, whether for the use or benefit of the person of whom the term is used or of another person, and although another person has the actual possession or custody of the thing or property in question.

What “knowledge” is required?

The accused must have received the stolen goods with knowledge of their having been stolen. The guilty knowledge must be at the time of receiving and not acquired subsequently.

What is “intent”?

The accused must have an intent in the sense that the accused intended to appropriate the goods to their own use, or to the use of some other person than the true owner. If they received it innocently with a view to returning it to the owner or handing it to the police, or dealing with it in some way consistent with its true ownership, they would not have an unlawful intent.

Should I plead guilty or not guilty?

This will depend on a number of factors including, for example:

  • whether you accept that you are the person accused of the offence
  • whether you received the property and it belonged to another person
  • whether you knew the thing was stolen
  • whether you had the unlawful intent to make the property your own

You may accept that you committed the offence of receiving stolen property but:

  • your lawyer may be able to persuade the prosecutor to accept a plea of guilty to a less serious charge such as possessing stolen or unlawfully obtained property.
  • you may disagree with part of what police say happened. In these circumstances, your lawyer may be able to negotiate with the prosecutor to change the statement of material facts.

Am I going to go to gaol?

Although there are many sentencing alternatives, it is possible that you will go to gaol if you plead guilty or are found guilty.

The maximum penalty for receiving stolen property is 14 years imprisonment, however, the type of sentence you receive will depend on the facts of your case, your personal circumstances, criminal history and many other factors.

It is important that a lawyer properly prepares and presents your case to minimise the risk of you going to gaol, or to persuade the court to reduce the length of the gaol sentence.

Property/Money Laundering

  • Property/Money Laundering is an offence under section 563A of the Criminal Code 1913 (WA).
  • This offence is a strictly indictable offence. It must be finalised in the District Court, but still commences in the Magistrates Court. The maximum penalty is 20 years imprisonment.
  • If you plead guilty, or are found guilty, a number of different sentences can be imposed. It is likely that a criminal conviction will be recorded.

If you have been charged with property/money laundering, the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that:

  1. You are the person accused or an accomplice
  2. That you engaged, directly or indirectly, in a transaction that involves money or other property or brings in Western Australia money or property, or receives, possesses, conceals, disposes of or deals with money or property
  3. That the money or other property was the proceeds of an offence

It is a defence to prove that the accused:

  1. Did not know; and
  2. Did not believe or suspect; and
  3. Did not have reasonable grounds to believe or suspect
  4. That the relevant money or property was the proceeds of a property fraud offence

What are “proceeds”?

‘Proceeds’ means money or other property that is derived or realized, directly or indirectly, by any person from the commission of the offence.

Should I plead guilty or not guilty?

This will depend on a number of factors including, for example:

  • whether you accept that you are the accused person or an accomplice
  • whether were engaged in the transaction of money or property
  • whether the money or property was the proceeds of a property fraud offence
  • whether you knew that the money or property was the proceeds of an offence

You may accept that you committed money/property laundering but:

  • your lawyer may be able to persuade the prosecutor to accept a plea of guilty to a less serious charge such as possession of stolen or unlawfully obtained property
  • you may disagree with part of what police say happened. In these circumstances, your lawyer may be able to negotiate with the prosecutor to change the statement of material facts.

Am I going to go to gaol?

Although there are many sentencing alternatives, it is very likely that you will go to gaol if you plead guilty or are found guilty. With an innate understanding of criminal law and a tailored approach to each case, our criminal defence team will comprehend and advocate for your perspective.

The maximum penalty for property/money laundering is 20 years imprisonment, however the type of sentence you receive will depend on the facts of your case, your personal circumstances, criminal history and many other factors.

It is important that a lawyer properly prepares and presents your case to minimise the risk of you going to gaol, or to persuade the court to reduce the length of the gaol sentence.

Fraudulently dealing with ore at mine

  • Fraudulently dealing with ore at mine is an offence under section 385 of the Criminal Code 1913 (WA).
  • This property fraud offence is a strictly summary offence. It commences and will be finalised in the in the Magistrates Court. The maximum penalty is 3 years imprisonment.
  • If you plead guilty, or are found guilty, a number of different sentences can be imposed. It is likely that a criminal conviction will be recorded.

If you have been charged with fraudulently dealing with ore at mine, the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that:

  1. You are the person accused or an accomplice
  2. You took, concealed or otherwise disposed of any ore of metal or mineral
  3. You did so in or about a mine
  4. You had intent to defraud any person

Should I plead not guilty?

This will depend on a number of factors including, for example:

  • whether you accept that you are the accused or accomplice
  • whether you took, concealed or otherwise disposed of any ore
  • You did so in or about a mine
  • whether you intended to defraud any person
  • whether you were acting lawfully

You may accept that you committed the offence of fraudulently dealing with ore at mine but:

  • you may disagree with part of what police say happened. In these circumstances, your lawyer may be able to negotiate with the prosecutor to change the statement of material facts.

Am I going to go to gaol?

Though imprisonment is not a likely outcome for an offence of fraudulently dealing with ore at mine, and there are many sentencing alternatives, it is possible that you will go to gaol if you plead guilty or are found guilty.

The maximum penalty for fraudulently dealing with ore at mine is 3 years imprisonment, however the type of sentence you receive will depend on the facts of your case, your personal circumstances, criminal history and many other factors that relate to property fraud or property damage.

Our team of lawyers will properly prepare and present your case to minimise the risk of you going to gaol.

Why Choose Hugo Law Group to Defend You

Hugo Law Group is a law firm that is focused on protecting and defending your rights. Drawing on decades of experience, our team of criminal lawyers will guide you through the legal process, providing comprehensive, honest and strategic advice – qualities that give us our renowned reputation.

Whether you want to plead not guilty, you are looking to secure the best possible sentence, or a loved one wants to apply for bail, it is essential to have an experienced team of criminal defence lawyers in your corner.

Seeking comprehensive and practical advice at an early stage will best ensure your rights and interests are protected. Our lawyers will properly prepare and present your case to assist you in getting the best possible outcome.

Contact

At Hugo Law Group, we will clearly explain what your rights and obligations are so that you can make informed decisions about how to deal with the police and the court process.

Even if you have not yet been charged with a criminal offence, you should seek advice from a lawyer at an early stage to ensure that your rights and interests are protected.

Hugo Law Group is the market leader in criminal defence law, providing exceptional representation to people facing serious criminal charges.

As leaders in criminal defence, we know that every story has two sides. We defend yours.

Get in contact with us today or feel free to call us at 02 9696 1361 (Sydney), 02 5104 9640 (Canberra), or 08 6255 6909 (Perth) and find out how we can help you.