Obtain a financial advantage (Centrelink or the Australian Tax Office)

What is the offence of obtain financial advantage?

The offence of Obtain a financial advantage is found at section 135.2 of the Commonwealth Criminal Code 1995. If you are charged with the offence of Obtain a financial advantage, your options will normally be to plead guilty or not guilty.

It is important to note that Centrelink will normally investigate a matter internally prior to referring it to the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions. There investigators will offer you the opportunity to participate in a taped record of interview. You should contact our office prior to agreeing to be interviewed, as any admissions you make may be used against you in court proceedings.

Pleading not guilty

You will be found not guilty of the offence of Obtain a financial advantage if the police cannot prove beyond reasonable doubt:

  1. You engaged in conduct (e.g. failing to declare income, obtaining a single parent allowance whilst living in a defacto relationship)
  2. As a result of that conduct, you obtained a financial advantage for yourself from another person; and
  3. You knew or believed that you were not eligible to receive that financial advantage; and
  4. The other person was a Commonwealth entity.

If the police are able to prove the above elements beyond reasonable doubt, you will still be found not guilty if any of the following offnces can be established:

Contact our offices at Sydney, Parramatta, Blacktown and Redfern to organise a time for one of our criminal lawyers to advise you of your prospects of successfully defending the charge of Obtain a financial advantage.

Pleading guilty

If you agree that you have committed the offence (and the police are able to prove so), it is best to plead guilty as you will normally receive a discount on sentence and it will demonstrate remorse and contrition. Alternatively, it may be the case that one of our experienced solicitors can negotiate with prosecutors for you to plead guilty to less serious facts or even a less serious charge.

Obtain a financial advantage carries a maximum penalty of 12 months imprisonment or 2 years imprisonment if the offence is dealt with in the Local Court as well as a fine. However, these penalties are typically reserved for the worst offenders. Our solicitors have a proven track record of not only keeping our clients out of gaol but also, depending on the seriousness of the allegation, having the offence finalised without the recording of a conviction.

Penalties that a court can impose in NSW are:

Why choose AC Law Group?

Our solicitors are experts at obtaining the best outcome possible for Fraud offences. For these offences, a good lawyer can be the difference between a conviction and no criminal record and freedom or gaol. To read more about AC Law Group, click here.

To discuss your Fraud charge, call AC Law Group at our Sydney, Parramatta, Blacktown and Redfern offices or make a website inquiry today.

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