Should You Plead Guilty Or Not Guilty For Your Fraud Charges?

Fraud is an intentional act of securing an unauthorised benefit by the use of deception or false suggestions or by other unethical means. They are identified as a conscious criminal deception in the hopes of attaining an unfair advantage.

Fraud charges in NSW are perceived to be very serious crimes. There are various actions that are fraudulent offences and all of which have varying degrees of maximum penalties. Ranging from tax fraud, general dishonesty, larceny and embezzlement, there are numerous offences that are considered to be fraudulent within NSW.

Below we have outlined the different measures that will be taken if you plead guilty or not guilty for various fraud offences. Do not hesitate to reach out to expert criminal lawyers where they can effectively assess your case and accurately advise you on what plea would work best for your circumstances.

Tax Fraud

Tax fraud occurs when one exploits the tax system for their own financial benefit. Some frequent tax fraud crimes include failure to report accurate income, making false claims or concealing assets in order to secure tax refunds and benefits that one is not entitled to.

Due to the fact that there is a broad range of tax crimes, penalties can vary accordingly. Penalties include imprisonment for up to 10 years and a fine of $2,200 for first offences.

  • Guilty

To be found guilty of tax fraud, the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt that you attained a financial upper hand by deception; schemed to defraud the tax system or influenced a public official; or failed to meet the demand required by the Australia taxation law. If you agree with the charges made against you, you are able to plea guilty. Even though a guilty plea will result in sentencing, the outcomes placed against you will turn out to be more favourable as compared to being found guilty otherwise.

  • Not Guilty

If you believe that the allegations placed against you are not sufficient, you have the ability to plead not guilty. Your case will then move to a trial where the prosecution will provide evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you committed an offence.

Your lawyers can utilise the defence of duress to dispute the allegations placed against you in relation to your tax fraud offence. Duress appears in circumstances where there is unlawful coercion and it has been used to persuade the accused to criminal activity. Duress would not generally be utilised if threats had not been at hand.


Forgery is identified as the action of unlawfully copying or imitating documents, signatures, bank notes, art or other items for deceptive purposes. An individual who creates a false document has the intention of obtaining property belonging to another individual, securing a financial advantage or creating a financial disadvantage or influencing the exercise of public duty.

The maximum penalty for forgery is imprisonment for 10 years. The court also has the ability to impose less significant penalties where appropriate. This may be in the form of a reduced jail sentence or in the form of non-custodial sentences such as community corrections orders.

  • Guilty

To be found guilty of a forgery crime, the prosecution has to establish that you created a false document, had the intention of using it, stated that the document was genuine, obtained property belonging to another individual using the false document or the forged document was or could have influenced the exercise of public duty. A guilty plea is very favourable in the judicial system as it displays remorse and could potentially lead to a less severe penalty.

  • Not Guilty

If you wish to plead not guilty, a brief of evidence will be served. This brief consists of the evidence that the prosecution will use to attempt to convict you of forgery. Witnesses will be brought forward to state their own version of events. Your criminal lawyers will have the ability to dismiss these allegations and should these defences be successful, you can be found not guilty if they have disproved the claims of the prosecution. You can, however, be liable to some penalties whereby they will be of lesser charges.

If you are facing a forgery offence, your criminal defence lawyers may argue the defence of necessity. A necessity defence can usually be challenging to prove, however, it can be argued in situations where the accused has been found to be in impending danger either by human or natural forces. It needs to be established that the activity was committed in order to avoid further repercussions that were considered “irreparable evil” and were in “imminent peril” due to the fact that they had no other alternatives to avoid the imminent threat.

Do You Require Professional Advice From A Criminal Lawyer?

With the help of criminal law firms in Sydney, you are able to be provided with extensive knowledge in relation to fraud charges in NSW. It is recommended to seek legal representation straight away to ensure that you will be charged accordingly if you have been involved in a fraudulent offence.