Dishonesty Offences – Petrol Drive Off

Our experienced criminal law solicitors on the Gold Coast have prepared a brief overview of the law relating to petrol drive off.  If you or someone you care about is facing a charge of petrol drive offs, you need specific advice and should contact Gatenby Criminal Lawyers on 55800120 for advice.

Petrol Drive Offs – The Law

Section 408C(h) of the Criminal Code of Queensland creates the offence of petrol drive off.  The section provides:

Any person who makes off, knowing that payment on the spot is required or expected for any property lawfully supplied or returned or for any service lawfully provided, without having paid and with intent to avoid payment

Elements of the offence

To be found guilty of the offence of petrol drive off, the prosecution is required to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, the following elements:

  1. The accused makes off
  2. Knowing that payment on the spot is required
  3. Payment is for property lawfully supplied
  4. With an intent to avoid payment.
  5. Maximum penalty

The maximum penalty for the an allegation of petrol drive off is 5  years imprisonment.

Jurisdiction – Where will the matter be heard?

The offence of petrol drive off is a summary offence.  The charge will be finalised  in the Magistrates Court.

Conviction – Does a conviction have to be recorded?

The sentencing Court has a discretion whether or not to record a conviction against you for the offence of petrol drive off.  Generally a conviction would not be recorded for a first offence for this type of offence, although one is likely for subsequent convictions.

The relevant factors are set out in section 12 of the Penalties and Sentences Act 1992, and include, the nature of the offence, the offenders character and age, together with the impact the recording a conviction would have on the offenders chances of finding employment. If you are concerned about a conviction being recorded on you or a loved you should seek legal advice.


This website contains general information about legal matters.  The information is not advice, and should not be treated as such.  You must not rely on the information on this website as an alternative to legal advice from your lawyer or other professional legal services provider.  You should never delay seeking legal advice, disregard legal advice, or commence or discontinue any legal action because of information on this website.

For specific legal advice you should immediately contact Gatenby Criminal Lawyers on (07) 5580 0120.

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