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VIC Returning Cash Taken - Can I be Charged for Theft?

Discussion in 'Criminal Law Forum' started by Bizz2410, 8 September 2016.

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  1. Bizz2410

    Bizz2410 Member

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    Hi all,

    A few months ago, I was in money trouble and had access to cash in my workplace, so from time to time, I would take it to get me by. If I have returned the cash before it's noticed or reported, can I still be charged for theft or face jail time?
     
  2. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member

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    Yes, but only if caught.
     
  3. Bizz2410

    Bizz2410 Member

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    Even if I have always been intent on returning?
     
  4. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member

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    You took property that doesn't belong to you. You treated the property as your own and in that instant you formed the necessary mens rea necessary for theft. The fact that you later returned the property helps mitigate the sentence, but it doesn't affect the original offence of theft.
     
  5. Iamthelaw

    Iamthelaw Well-Known Member

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    Hmmm... This isn't entirely accurate. Moreover, you've forgotten about the element of dishonesty. Lastly, in these types of cases you're more than likely to be charged with obtain property/financial advantage by deception rather than theft.

    Idea: Given that dishonesty has has a special meaning under Division 2, and the 2 deeming provisions under s73(2) - Is it possible that the owner would have consented to you taking the money if he/she had known of the circumstances surrounding it?

    Outcome: In small scale theft cases you're best bet would be a Diversion.. However courts are very reluctant to grant diversions in instances where employees steal from employers.
     
  6. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member

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    The OP asked about theft. And yes, suppose property/financial advantage by deception is possible though not sure where the deception is in the limited information we have.

    re: Theft. No, didn't forget about dishonesty. OP said he had money trouble and he took money from work (this implies without permission, without a belief he was entitled to the money, and it was from someone he knew). Under these circumstances the provisions in s73 are unlikely to help. Real question is can a good lawyer twist any extra facts to construe a meaning that fits within s73. It is possible, as we don't have all the facts.

    And who knows, maybe the boss is an understanding and forgiving type of person and will give the OP a second chance. Not every illegal act gets reported to the authorities.
     

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