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NSW Criminal Law - How Will My Old Conviction Affect My Sentencing?

Discussion in 'Criminal Law Forum' started by fuzzywo, 16 April 2016.

  1. fuzzywo

    fuzzywo Active Member

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    I was convicted with a few counts of obtaining benefit by deception back in Sept 2004. I served 9 months of weekend detention and have since turned my life. No convictions since, and I have built a good career.

    Come 2 weeks ago, I was charged by police for obtaining property by deception in a supermarket for under $30. What happened was, I accidentally put a lower value on an item that was worth more and didn't realise. I was very scared because of the thought of going through the same hell I would have 11 years ago. Even one of the police officer said for me to sit down properly and relax. I ended up saying to the police that I did it with the intention to pay a lower value.

    My question is how much does the old conviction affect my sentencing under Criminal Law?

    I didn't do it intentionally, and I wasn't thinking when I was shopping that day. I did pay in full for every other item which I purchased on the day. I'm really worried because I'm not sure how this will affect my employment. Can anyone give some help?

    I will be seeking a lawyer to represent me in court. I will be providing 2 character references which addresses this matter
     
  2. Piers Blomfield

    Piers Blomfield Well-Known Member

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    It's a relevant consideration, however, given the length of time as well as the subjective submissions you could make regarding how you have turned your life around, you should be looking at a bond under either 10 or 9.

    I would be strongly making the submission that while you have offended in a like-minded manner. it is a relatively minor offence and strong consideration should be given to a two-year bond under section 10 as you are not likely to re-offend.
     
  3. Hope this helps

    Hope this helps Well-Known Member

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    I am asking this for 2 reasons if you would be kind enough to answer so that you clearly know what you have written and consider why you did this 'out of the blue' thing.

    You state you 'accidentally placed a low price on a higher priced item'. How does one accidentally do this?

    Then admit to police you intended to place a lower price on a higher price item to pay less for it. Which is the correct statement? Accidentally on purpose ? Or absent-mindedly?

    A bigger question to ask yourself is why? Is it a case you enjoy the thrill of getting away with doing something and this has been happening a few times but you happened to get caught or just 'out of the blue'? I ask this as your post contradicts itself and point this out for you to mentally be sure of your story as well as to perhaps seek counselliring because it's quite common to have a disorder and not know why you have one e.g do something even though you know it's wrong but can not help it. This is more common than you think and if you understand yourself better, you can also avoid doing something similar.

    For instance, a kleptomaniac doesn't steal because they cannot pay for an item or need it, it is the thought and action off getting away with something unlawful.
     
  4. fuzzywo

    fuzzywo Active Member

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    Thank you for your reply.

    My offence is one of those where you punch in a set of 3 digits and the scales spits out a price sticker. I must have pressed 1 digit wrong and the wrong product came up in pricing. I was in my earphones, and have dealing with some stress at work. I went straight to there from work and my mind was not with me. I did not do it for the thrill. In fact I was so glad that the 10 year period has passed and I didn't have to worry about my criminal record, so there was no way I could have done this intentionally.
     
  5. Hope this helps

    Hope this helps Well-Known Member

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    Thank you. Your post was conflicting. Such a simple mistake. I, therefore, do not understand why you stated you admitted to police you intentionally placed a lower code or price when it was clearly a mistake. This happens every single day quite a lot and majority of police take it as a mistake and give a warning. Thank you for explaining it more clearly.

    Yes, please take note what piers stated in his pistol and in court be remorseful but assertively confident that it was an absent-minded mistake, your career n upstanding held character should they bring up convictions from the past. Believe in yourself! And make the judge believe your sincerity!

    Good luck!
     
    fuzzywo likes this.
  6. fuzzywo

    fuzzywo Active Member

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    I was tired on that day and as soon as I was taken in the room I started panicking. I just wanted to get out of there and see if I could offer to pay for the variance and leave. Of course, that didn't happen and at the end, I was so disgusted I didn't even want the product. So I did not even take what I would have paid for partially. Also, the LP officer said "you know what you were doing" and I thought if I tried to deny, they will just think I'm wasting their time.

    Btw, they never said I could call someone or a lawyer. Do I have some rights with this step omitted by the police?
     
  7. Hope this helps

    Hope this helps Well-Known Member

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    Did they tell you your rights, whilst carrying you away and charging you at anytime? Were you thrown into the watchtower? You must always give your name and address to police when asked. That's it. You can at anytime ask for your lawyer even if charged with a DWI.
     
  8. fuzzywo

    fuzzywo Active Member

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    They only told me what they usually do - you have the right to remain silent and anything you say will be used in court, etc. That's it. They did not mention I could speak to a lawyer or call anyone and I did not know that or think of that at the time because I was so scared. I was literally shaking.

    I was interviewed and gave a statement at the back of the supermarket.
     
  9. Hope this helps

    Hope this helps Well-Known Member

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    I understand. Hence why they say 'You have the right to remain silent... And yes you do have the right to say nothing except what I have previously said and 'I want the presence of my lawyer or a lawyer please.'
     
  10. fuzzywo

    fuzzywo Active Member

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    So given the length of my previous conviction was over 10 years ago and the minor value of this offence, how will that previous conviction impact my sentence? I'm very worried because my job requires me to travel overseas and this is clearly stated on my letter of offer.

    I have been so worried to the point where I would have sleepless nights, and I dream about the police coming to my house to handcuff me.

    I'm very worried the magistrate won't believe it was an honest mistake because of the statement I gave to police. I'm afraid that he/she won't believe I was so scared at the time that I just said I did it and go home. I offered to pay for the variance to the LP officer but he won't let me.
     

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