Theft (Stealing)

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Stealing is an offence which attract a range of penalties from fines to imprisonment.

A simple offence of stealing would be stealing a chocolate bar or not paying for your food in a restaurant.  In these situations, the appropriate disposition is a fine.  However, if an offender stole a gold watch valued at $50,000 he or she would be sentenced in a superior court and likely be subjected to a term of imprisonment.

Stealing as a servant means stealing from an employer, which is considered more serious.  It becomes significantly more serious if the amount stolen exceeds $10,000, which commits the offender to a superior court where imprisonment may be the only appropriate sentence.

Stealing a motor vehicle is using a motor vehicle without the consent of the owner or the person in charge of that motor vehicle.  A motor vehicle is defined as a self-propelled vehicle that runs on a land surface and is eligible for registration for use on public roads.  This excludes large mining trucks (super-haulers), gophers (motorised wheel chairs), golf carts, miniature motor cycles (pocket rockets), go carts and motorised bicycles/scooters.  Joy riding does not result in imprisonment but stealing vehicles to dismantle them and selling the parts does.

The offence of receiving is the handling or processing of goods or money taken or obtained illegally.  Someone who accepts stolen goods (and knows they are stolen) is referred to on the street as a ‘fence’.  The penalties for knowingly being in possession of stolen goods also varies from fines to imprisonment, depending on the value of the goods.

Should you, or anyone you know, need any help, in relation to stealing, or any other offences, contact Lawson Legal for a free initial consultation with one of our experienced criminal lawyers.