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NSW Son Charged with Theft and False Declaration - What to Do?

Discussion in 'Criminal Law Forum' started by PAR, 21 April 2016.

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  1. PAR

    PAR Member

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    My 18-year-old son lived on his own in Sydney working as an apprentice. He had numerous parties during his first year out of home and people left things at his unit. He was the new country boy in town and had many people arrive at his get-togethers whom he did not know.

    When he left Sydney (aged 19) to return home, I advised that he sell most of his bigger items as they were valued less than the freight it would cost to bring them home and advised him that the unit had to be empty and clean when handed it back to the landlord.

    Most items forgotten or left by other kids at his house had been collected, except for a BMX bicycle which had been lying in his yard for 2 months. Since he was leaving and could not leave it there he took the bicycle to a local pawnbroker and sold it for $30.

    Legal issue number # 1, He signed a pawnbroker declaration saying it was his bicycle.

    Legal issue # 2; the serial number had the Bicycle listed as stolen. He now faces a charge of expected theft and false declaration.

    The charge has been laid by the pawnbroker to recover the $30. Any help would be appreciated.
     
  2. Serge Gorval

    Serge Gorval Well-Known Member

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    Where in NSW are you based?

    I suggest you obtain legal advice. the issues that jump to my mind :

    1. theft/ larceny requires intent to permanently deprive someone of property, where the person has no good faith claim to that property or that the taking is dishonest.

    In your son's case...

    He became an involuntary bailee of the bike;
    He kept the bike for 2months;
    He deemed the bike to be abandoned as no one returned to collect and considering that he did not know the identity of the true owner;
    He disposed of the bike as it had been abandoned

    BAM!

    The police will most likely drop the charges if proper representations are put in, there's no way the prosecutor will get this over the line. Get some legal advice or give me a call tomorrow to discuss :)
     
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  3. PAR

    PAR Member

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    Thank you, Serge, that was my summation of the situation. He needs to be at the Southerland local court on the 19th May 2016.
     
  4. Serge Gorval

    Serge Gorval Well-Known Member

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    Hi Par

    Hopefully he will draw Magistrate Walsh and it will be happy days!

    If you or your son would like a consultation, feel free to give me a ring or send me an email and I will be in touch.
     
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