WA Committed Theft from Company - Will I Go to Jail?

Australia's #1 for Law
Join 150,000 Australians every month. Ask a question, respond to a question and better understand the law today!
FREE - Join Now


2 July 2015
I want to know what to do or where to go from here.

I have been caught of stealing money from my work place (theft). The amount is about 18k from what I remember. I have been loading payments up and the directors approving them didn't know they were for me. :/

This isn't something I have ever done before and it was very stupid. I told the company I will pay the amount back but they're still going to the police, so I wont be able to pay them back if they go to the police til I have some sort of income again.

What will happen to me under criminal law? Will I go to jail?

Tracy B

Well-Known Member
24 December 2014
Hi Mariee,

It is best to wait until you have actually been charged by the police. The likely charge would be the offence of stealing, against section 378 of the Criminal Code Act Compilation Act 1913 (WA).

The maximum penalty for stealing is 7 years imprisonment. However, theft from an employer is 10 years imprisonment (section 378(7)).

As for what sentence you will get depends on a number of factors, including:
  • Whether you plead guilty or not;
  • At which stage did you plead guilty;
  • How cooperative you were in the investigation;
  • How much remorse you show and how much responsibility you assume for this offence;
  • The amount stolen in relation to the business;
  • Whether there were any victims involved, any lost contracts or further loss incurred;
  • Whether you have any other mitigating circumstances (e.g. medical issues, pressures that could explain why you stole the money);
  • Whether there were any aggravating factors (e.g. previous deception offences, forgery, fraud); and
  • Your past criminal history.
Therefore, it is hard to predict what sentence you will likely get.

If you are concerned, speak with your local community legal centre first to get some idea about what you're up against.