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Case Study: No Conviction for Making a False Statutory Declaration

Streeton Lawyers last week represented a client charged with making a false statement in connection with an application for a migration visa. This is a serious criminal offence and...

Justin Wong

Streeton Lawyers last week represented a client charged with making a false statement in connection with an application for a migration visa. This is a serious criminal offence and carries a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment.

Our client had been pressured to lie for another person, the visa applicant, and state that she had met the applicant’s partner when this was not the case.

After being charged, Maxine Malaney negotiated with the prosecution and managed to keep the matter in the Local Court rather than the District Court. This reduced the maximum penalty from 10 years to 2 years imprisonment.

A plea of guilty was then entered early. Evidence tendered at the sentence hearing established our client’s remorse, that this was an isolated incident, her medical conditions, and the difficult personal circumstances she was suffering at the time.

Justin Wong appeared at the sentence and made submissions on her behalf, asking the court to not record a conviction under section 19B of the Commonwealth Crimes Act.

Although non-convictions are rare for similar offences, the magistrate agreed that this was an unusual case and released our client without conviction. Understandably, she was very relieved.